King Eddy Saloon, the former Charles Bukowski hangout and oldest dive bar on Skid Row (it actually has one of the oldest liquor licenses in the city), reopened this week. There was a wee bit of worry when the regulars heard about the new owners, the ACME Bar Group, which also owns Spring St Bar, Laurel Tavern and the Library Bar, would wipe the grime out and turn it into a hipster haven. Turns out that's only partially true. According to the Downtown News, owners John Valenti, Michael Leko and Wil Shamlian simply brought the bar up to code with a few minor facelift tweaks.
When King Eddy closed in December, a lot of the items in the bar and on the walls were auctioned off, so now there's new artwork, vintage clock radios and a 50s-era vibe about the joint. We ran into one regular last night who also said there are some decent beers on tap now, priced lower than at the other ACME bars (think: craft brews for $5, domestics for $3). Considering the beer lists they typically curate, this is a good enough reason to check it out. The group is also transforming the basement into a speakeasy, but work won't even begin for another six months. The next project: the forthcoming 6th St. Tavern, which was most recently Urbano Pizza Bar, one of their other Downtown spots. Look for that this spring.