From NoHo Patch: Valley Village’s The Fifth is Guilty of Being a Fancy Dive Bar

The Fifth's fancy exterior.

I might have the Asian Drinking Disease, but I know a good local hangout when I see one.  Enter Valley Village’s The Fifth, another watering hole from the Vintage Bar Group (they’re the folks that brought us NoHo’s NoBar, Hollywood’s Parlour Room and other swanky, yet laid-back cocktail lounges).  Here’s an excerpt from my column for Patch.com:

…On a windy Wednesday night, a friend and I find ourselves at The Fifth, a fancy dive bar tucked away in the corner of a strip mall off Whitsett and Riverside. The bar’s name is written in swanky white script on a black oval sign trimmed with bright globe lights, but it easily could have been a blinking marquee in capital letters exclaiming, “CLASSY COCKTAILS SERVED HERE.” Like any refined lady of class, The Fifth prefers a subtle hint of elegance over an extravagant, flashy show.

After walking a mile in the blustery cold (we opted for a car-less adventure), we’re standing in the dim-lit lounge, surprised to see only a handful of other people in their ’20s and ’30s. It’s the kind of place Don Draper might call his second home, but it’s also welcoming enough for Peggy Olson and her friends.  One wall is covered with mid-century inspired avocado-green diamond-patterned wallpaper, and the seating area has wall-to-wall tufted black vinyl seats. Straight ahead there’s a pool table, but for the rest of us who lack motor skills (sober or otherwise), there are vintage arcade games that also serve as tables and conversation starters.

The seats at Ms. Pac-Man are miraculously empty, so we claim our spots and order our drinks. There’s no beer on tap, so we both get a bottle of Guinness for five dollars each.

The jukebox has a little something for everyone. For a dollar, you can start off with a track from Florence + the Machine, then get trashy with Guns N’ Roses and finish the set with NWA. If you’ve got another dollar, you can get glam-tastic with Bowie, dance to Depeche Mode and settle down with Stevie Nicks.

Read the whole story here!

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