Ever since I first saw the Facebook page from the Scum and Villainy Cantina in Los Angeles, I was convinced I wanted to go. To my surprise, Sharon was interested in going as well.
You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
We must be cautious. – Obi Wan (Ben) Kenobi
I’m glad to say that the cantina is open again and following California COVID restrictions and limiting capacity. If you’re going to visit on May the Fourth, get there early. If not, they have blue milk to go.
When we were planning our Southwest Road Trip a few years ago and knew we would be visiting Disneyland, we thought a trip to L.A. would be possible. Then we got tickets for Hamilton in L.A. (Note from Sharon: 5th time!) and decided to stay in town for the last weekend of our trip. It was fate. Or the Force. Or maybe you’re like Han Solo and don’t believe in hokey things like that.
Your friendly neighborhood geek bar.
No Tickets, No Reservations, No Judgement
Full disclosure, I’ve never been to a sci-fi convention before, unless you count when I went to a convention in New York 40+/- years ago where I got to see Scanners and The Howling. I was an eight-year-old kid and that didn’t go so well (WTH were my parents thinking anyway???). I know and appreciate cosplay but never have felt the need to get dressed up. Well, except for the desire every kid from the late 70s had to become a Stormtrooper. I did dress up as a Jawa for Halloween in 1979. At the time, I thought the costume was #AWESOME. Finding a picture of me in that costume some 35 years later, I realize it wasn’t as great as I remembered.
So while I was totally excited to get to go to the Star Wars-themed geek bar, at the same time I did feel a bit intimidated. I wouldn’t be dressed up and like most nerdy geeks, I tend to be introverted in strange, public places. Eventually, the day arrived and we got ready to go out for the evening. I picked out one of my favorite Star Wars-themed WOOT T-shirts and Sharon went in her Ewok hat she just bought at Disneyland.
It was only a two-block walk from the W Hollywood, where we were staying. In less than five minutes, we were there.
We got there early for Hollywood party standards but late for us, about 9PM. We headed inside and the place was pretty empty. We grabbed some seats at the bar. It was the perfect time to take a few pictures.
The entry room was themed well and I imagine could get really crowded but now it just looked really cool. I felt like I wanted to start planning the attack on the Empire.
We looked over the menu. They had some food items but we were coming from dinner so just were looking for some drinks. I had to try blue milk while Sharon had another of the drinks, but I can’t remember which one (sorry).
Since we were there right before Halloween, they also had themed drinks available. Later in the night, I tried the Reaver Rescue (complete with a sidecar of Frankenberry cereal)
As the night progressed, the place started to fill up. No one looked too dangerous but I was on alert just in case someone pushed me away from the bar while saying:
“You just watch yourself. We’re wanted men. I have the death sentence on twelve systems.”
Sharon did manage to bump into another Endorian (Ewok) and snapped a quick selfie.
Then it was around 10:45 pm and we decided to head back to the hotel. As I said before, we’re old and don’t hang out at bars until 1 AM like we used to.
And then K-2SO walked in.
I guess if you go to conventions and have seen really cool things like this before, then this isn’t a big deal. But for me, this was totally awesome. Loads of people were going up and taking pictures and stuff but that’s not my style. I just snapped a few from my phone while sitting at my seat and oogled how neat this was to look at. I thought about how much time and effort must have gone into making it. Respected the level to which it looked real, as much as a robot can look real.
And then we left.
What can I say? While I’m all about seeing cool things, I was way too tired to sit and wait around to see if anyone else or anything would end up walking through the door that night. Who knows what I missed but I did enjoy my time there.
I’m totally the geek demographic that this bar is going after. It was really neat to visit and the atmosphere was themed well. It wasn’t themed TOO much. I guess it was more like it trying to give a feel of the cantina but not that much. The newer entry area is more “accurate” than the rest of the bar. When it comes down to it, that’s what this place is. It’s a bar. The atmosphere is supplied more by the people who come to hang out than by the location itself. If you just have people sitting around then it’s not going to be much of an experience for you.
However, if you have some really cool Star Wars, or any sci-fi-themed cosplay, this is a place where you can go and let the nerd flag fly high and proud. You seriously need to check out their Instagram. It’s awesome what people show up wearing. If I lived closer, I’d probably just go to hang out and see who shows up.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary