Almost a month since two Los Angeles area 7-11s were convereted in Kwik-E-Mart’s the lines inside still wrap around the block. It’s a surprise other businesses haven’t rushed to become “Simpsonized”, especially since a number of L.A. locations would make a natural fit in Springfield, USA. At least I thought so after one too many non-alcoholic Duff Beers.
Many iconic Simpsons locations were ripped too obviously from Los Angeles, so they’ve been eliminated. Lard Lad Donuts is simply a giant Bob’s Big Boy doppleganger holding up a Randy’s sized donut… Greasers Cafe is a total lift of the now defunct Ed Debevics… and Springfield even has its own sign made of giant white letters.
But for a real Simpsons makeover, a business can’t simply look like its from Springfield, or share a similar name, it has to evoke the spirit, and smell like Springfield. For example, the first three in our Top 10:
#10 Barney’s Bowl-O-Rama = Shatto Lanes (Koreatown)… #9 The Jazz Hole = Harvelle’s (Santa Monica)… #8 Pay and Park and Pay = any parking lot in Westwood…
Now for the rest… feel free to suggest other options in the comments.
#7 The Anvil (aka The Ajax Steel Mill) = Faultline (Silver Lake)
One wouldn’t expect that Springfield has a popular gay leather bar, but in fact every night the Ajax Steel Mill becomes the Anvil with the motto, “We work hard, and we play hard.” (“Simpsons” clip) Compare this with the Faultline (link NSFW) which claims to be “Where Men Are Men and Boys Are Toys.” They also feature some, um, creative neon art.
#6 Noiseland Arcade = Japan Arcade (Little Tokyo)
Bart’s hangout features the hottest new standup video games in Springfield, such as “Robert Goulet Destroyer”, “Itchy and Scratchy”, and “My Dinner With Andre”. The Japan Arcade has games “such as Taiko Drumming and Typing of the Dead.” (via Gridskipper)
#5 Krusty Burger = Jack in the Box
Impossible to pass up the combination of a clown as owner/spokesman and ad campaigns that mock dieters and suggest Angus burgers hyped by other fast food chains are made from the meat of a cow’s anus. More importantly, who can forget the E. Coli outbreak of ’93 that resulted in the deaths of some patrons who’d eaten their trademark undercooked meat? Jack in the Box photo by Goldberg
#4 Stu’s Disco = Disco Duck Boogiein Cocktails (closed, Hollywood)
Unfortunately, Disco Duck has been closed for years (does anyone know when it was last open?), but the sign alone makes a makeover worthy of Stu somewhere in this decrepit Santa Monica Blvd. strip mall. photo by C.M. Gonzalez
#3 SLeEp-eAZY Motel = America’s Best Value Inn (near USC)
Springfield features a number of “budget motels”, such as Second Best Western and Ye Olde Off-Ramp Inn, but it was this description of the the SLeEp-eAZY (from this Simpsons fan site) that made for a perfect L.A. fit: “Smelly beds and clown pictures on the wall, gunshot and siren sounds as standard. Free continental breakfast.”
Compare this to the one star reviews for America’s Best Value Inn by USC: “…we found roaches and women’s underwear in our room…” and “…There were mirrors strategically placed all over the place, and giant dark stains covered the carpet.”
Fortunately, a reviewer indicates the motel is conveniently located: “…the neighboring hotels – the Snooty Fox and Mustang Motel – were actually prostitution and crack houses.”
#2 The Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop = The Last Grenadier
I’m cheating a little here – the Last Grenadier, in Burbank, is a store for gamers – board games, roleplaying, model wargames, etc. But Rob Noxious claims theres a long time employee who both looks and acts like Comic Book Guy. “If you replaced Comics with D&D, Wargaming and RPG supplies, that place really is The Android’s Dungeon, to a T.”
Runner up: House of Heroes Comics and Cards in Torrance, as its also one of few stores left in L.A. that caters to both trading card and comic collectors under one roof. Both Golden Apple and Meltdown have simply become too hip and gentrified for Comic Book Guy to accept them as legitimate.
#1: Moe’s Tavern = The Fireside (Manchester & Lincoln)
Rumor has it that Simpsons writers who’d attended Loyola Marymount had based Moe’s on nearby hole in the wall “The Fireside”, and photographer MPR529 even labeled his photo as so (seen above right, or click here). From the outside, it fits the part. But the real test will be if they serve Flaming Moes.
Runners up: Annika votes for Frank N Hank’s (at Western and 6th Street): “Its as much of a dive as I’ve ever seen.” And photographer Pnoeric took some shots of a bar on 3rd street in Santa Monica that Fox converted in Moe’s for a PR event.
…much sourcing for this via Guide to Springfield USA…