L.A. 24/7…NOT

A few days ago, I took one of my frequent visits to the shiny new(ish) West Hollywood Gateway to satisfy my growing and increasingly violent addiction to Daphne’s Greek Cafe. En route, I always pass the entrance to Best Buy, and this time I happened to cross paths with a disappointed couple being turned away because the store was closing. It seemed early to me, so I eyeballed their posted hours and was shocked to find that they close at 7:00 P.M. on Sundays. WTF?!? 7:00 P.M.!? I mean…seriously guys…seven-freaking-pee-emm?? Primetime television hasn’t even started by 7:00P.M.! For that matter, it’s not even dark out by 7:00 P.M. I guess if I need an extra XBox controller or something next Sunday night, I’d better make other plans.

This is symptomatic of something that’s always irked me about Los Angeles: we are a thriving metropolis of 10 million people, yet most of the city operates on the same annoying banker’s hours. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot worse cities in which to be (Omaha all but rolls up the streets at 10:00), and there are usually solutions if you look for them. But why in the world do I have to look for them? There are TEN MILLION PEOPLE here. Doesn’t anybody feel it might be a good business decision to accomodate some of those that have atypical schedules? Really, it’s almost embarassing. At least the Target’s open ’til 10.

17 thoughts on “L.A. 24/7…NOT”

  1. Totally with ya. I worked overnights at Kinkos for a few years back in Chicago and I’m all for a 24/7 city. There are those of us who don’t even want to get out of bed UNTIL 7pm on a Sunday. The traffic is much better at 4am as well!

  2. I too work overnights and although the traffic is great (SM to Hollywood in 15 minutes!) there is nothing open to facilitate the LA vampire. Maybe a bullet proof encased Chevron mart or a greasy Benito’s tacos but otherwise it’s just Ralphs (thank god).

  3. Word up! I’ve felt the same way about los angeles since i moved here for college – that the second biggest city in america keeps the same hours as my native new mexico is so pathetic it’s laughable. Particularly if you’re driving around at midnight and want a bite – you can only eat Tommys so many times a week and i’d rather moonwalk on a cheese grater than show my face at Fred 62 or Norms.
    As a DVD addict, there’s a certain joy in getting the sunday paper and seeing what movies Best Buy has for 2/$10-15, but i can’t count both hands the times i’ve scurried to the BB on Pico or in Los Feliz, only to be turned away at 6:50pm – i’ve had security called on me fighting with the fat prick at Pico… early hours suck

  4. postscript – if you like Daphnes, you’ve gotta try Papa Christos on Pico and Normandie. Best greek EVER! Plus they have a pretty decent deli.

  5. >Particularly if you’re driving around at midnight and want a bite
    >- you can only eat Tommys so many times a week and i’d rather
    >moonwalk on a cheese grater than show my face at Fred 62
    >or Norms.

    Ha ha ha. I understand the F62 animosity, though I think that restaurants are actually one of the easier things to find open late. Swingers, 101, Toi or Nova are all open late. Doughboys is actually open fairly late (though not post-bar late).

    Thanks for the pointer to Papa Christos. I’m ALL OVER that shiznit.

  6. Sir, you will not be disappointed with the good Papas.

    Toi is a pretty nice spot, you’re right. I love doughboys, but i thought they closed at midnight. The Pig on La Brea and Melrose is open til midnight too, but that’s kinda the cutoff i think. I’ve never tried The Brite Spot (on the corner of sunset and alvarado-ish, across from Taix) but it looks promising. Oh, and i almost forgot, the mecca – The Pacific Dining Car – is open 24/7. If you’re looking to blow $100 on a meal (for two) at 4am, it simply cannot be beat.

    So, yeah, there is food… just nothing else!

  7. I, too, agree that it is strange and wrong about Best Buy, along with the myriad of other businesses that do not cater to people such as myself, who don’t even get off work until 7pm. But the burning question on my mind: has anyone yet figured out what that crazy sign at the Hollywood Gateway means? The one with the shower? It was posted on here several weeks ago? It haunts me.

  8. Awww, by the way the Brite Spot is KICKASS! They used to be a little cheaper & homlier, which I sort of miss, but the ownership changed and actually the food is even better now. They still have weak coffee though.

  9. i used to be quite squeamish about letter grades – i wouldnt eat at anything less than an A during my first few years here. But then i learned that a restaurant can get a B if they have a faulty screendoor lock, or there’s some structural problem with the building… plus i just stopped being a pussy about it… If a restaurant has bugs or rodents, it’s gonna get closed, and i feel i’m macho enough to handle everything else (except if you go into teh Grand St Market, and goto the fish place in the back that has a C… Aahhh! it smells like death!).
    But this doest give me a great oppertunity to share a gem with all of you – The la public health website. You type in a place and it gives you A) the number grade and B) why it got it! It’s hours of fun for any angeleno.

  10. Try living in Germany. Everything is closed by 6 or 8pm 6 days a week and nothing but restaurants and gas stations are open on Sundays. Not even mentioning that every thing is closed practically every thrid Thursday because of a “holiday”..oh wait, I just did mention it.

  11. Having worked retail, i’d have to say I’m use to and like the fact that sundays were closed earlier than normal. It was a day you could look forward to as an actual night you could depend on not having to work or getting off early.

  12. I thought it was generally known that Sunday evenings are pretty much dead retail hours but Best Buy, specifically, closes most of its stores nationwide earlier on Sundays. Target is completely different with their hours, which explains their high turnover rate and employee discontent.

  13. Ah, to be a young shopaholic geek in this, the best of all free-market economies! “24/7”, in addition to being an overused expression along the lines of “awesome,” is an abomination. What’s wrong with closing early? Is there nothing to do but shop when we’re not working? Does everyone aspire to work the graveyard shift at businesses that sell us crap that we neither need nor realy want. I’ll admit that there is something to be said for the buzz that one gets from cruising the aisles of Ralph’s at 3 a.m. (Or is that an after-effect of the fourth martini?), but some of us geezers, failing to see the charm of Best Buy, believe that only restaurants, bars and–at the risk of sounding politically incorrect as well as anachronistic– bordellos need to be open until the wee hours.

  14. Pierre, to be honest, i hate Best Buy as a company (they’ve got cheap DVDs, so i go, but i’d NEVER make a real purchase there) and am not crazy about shopping in general, so i can see the ‘leave the poor clerks alone’ argument. BUT this is l.a., and shopping is pretty much the only activity (friends come to town and it’s off to Beverly Hills, Rodeo, Melrose, 3rd Street Promenade etc) for people who dont like Disneyland and have already been to the beach 5 times in a week. It’s my biggest gripe with l.a. – wanna go to a movie/concert? no late shows here. Wanna eat something other than Carls Jr/Del Taco or crappy diner food? Better leave before 8pm. Wanna hit the bar/club in Hermosa or Sunset? Get there before 10pm if you don’t wanna wait in line, and leave at 9pm to battle traffic.

    I agree that restuarants, bars, and stripclubs should AT LEAST be open late, but it boggles the mind that in this enormous city the lights go out on the bars and strip clubs at 2am. And maybe it’s because i’m young, but i dont have a single friend that disagrees… We need to learn a lesson from Chicago, Las Vegas, NYC, New Orleans, et al.

  15. You got me there, Big Steve. My rant was about shopping non-stop. I have to agree that L.A., the self-proclaimed entertainment capital of the world, is rather lame when it comes to late-night activities, and I bitch about it on a regular basis. The handful of greatly appreciated but over-rated greasy spoons (Pink’s, Tommy’s, Canter’s, etc.)hardly constitutes what I would consider a world-class nightlife.

    Those of us who have had the good fortune to live and travel in various places are sometimes demanding in expecting to find everything everywhere at any time, but who woulda thunk that here in the self-congratulatory hub of the universe (When’s the next awards ceremony?) bars would close at 2, smoking would be akin to having leprosy, and talking on a cellphone would be the raison d’Ítre of millions of zombies? And why ain’t there a single BBQ joint even a quarter as good as those brisket meccas in Lockhart? Pigly Wigly, Hogly Wogly my smoked Memphis-style butt! It’s because we ain’t deep in the heart of Texas, Bubba!

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