As Musso & Frank and their employees are a living testament to Hollywood and its golden age, so Craby Joe’s is to downtown Los Angeles’ tenderloin on Main street. At the corner of 7th and Main since 1933, it will close it doors for good on Xmas eve. It has served as a watering hole to John Fante, Charles Bukowski, and many other great souls who drew from this well of characters and atmosphere from the wrong side of the tracks.
The dance to the march of time has changed tempo of late, and commercial property owners humming gentrification and other popular tunes of the day have moved into the neighborhood. The Cecil Hotel, already on the skids when Raymond Chandler described it in his early short stories, can boast of two known serial killers as residents in the 1980s and 90s, Richard Ramirez one of them, is now a self described boutique hotel–a destination for the discerning European traveler. This fragile coral reef on Main Street of artists, galleries (the hub of art walk is two blocks away at 5th and Main at Bert Green’s), SROs and their long time residents and encroaching development will suffer a severe blow with the close of Craby Joe’s.
Please join us there around 10 pm this Xmas eve for what Hemingway wrote of the custom in his beloved Spain, "La Penultima–the next to last drink," for the last one is too bitter a thought. . .