Los Globos is a historic venue in L.A.'s musical history, being one… (Scott Nathan, Scott Nathan )
Late nights in Silver Lake belong to Los Globos. Once a rough-and-tumble haunt of gangs and local toughs, the beat-up-looking spot on Sunset Boulevard has been under new management for eight months that hopes to transform the space into a concert venue on par with the Echo and some of the area's other taste-making music joints.
Since late 2011, however, it's been pulling in crowds for a different reason: Friday through Sunday, the dancing goes on until the break of dawn.
There's no alcohol served between 2 and 6 a.m., but that hasn't stopped throngs from hanging out all night, as masses of people mostly in their 20s have adopted the club's downstairs room as their domain. Walking in feels like entering the final frontier of weekend partying: hundreds of people dancing on the old tile floors and stuck to the tired wood walls, washed by a blur of classic disco light show and pounding house music. Here, the up-all-nighters power one of the more raging dance parties in this corner of town.
"They like to party at this hour — they work all day, party all night, then go back to work in the morning," said the head of security as he walked across the dance floor on a recent Saturday night. A massive man in his 30s, he stood out in the crowd and, like most employees at the club, would not give his name for print.
Though Los Globos has kept much of its Latin programming such as salsa nights and brass bands, the club has begun catering to the indie rock and electronic dance music crowd and, according to general manager Ben Fried, has had growing success. Last month Moby performed and Fried said celebrities Kiefer Sutherland and Kirsten Dunst have enjoyed the club.
Beyond a change in focus and new blackout paint on the building, however, the big news at Los Globos is the reopening of the downstairs room, which can hold hundreds and was recently used only as storage space, with dancing and shows in the slightly smaller room upstairs. For the former American Legion hall and later one of the city's first gay nightclubs, this new weekend action marks the spot's return to prominence.
According to Los Globos' music curator and sometimes bartender Mitch Edelson, son of owner Steve Edelson, the event promoters — whom he would not name and who would not comment — have been organizing after-hours parties at other venues for a long time. For many who attend, Los Globos is only a stop, not an end, in a nearly 24-hour party cycle that begins in Koreatown bars, moves to Los Globos at 2 a.m. and then continues on to Joseph's Cafe in Hollywood, where they can keep dancing into the afternoon.
"The crazy thing is that in America someone would say you must stop dancing at a certain time," Steve Edelson said. "It seems almost unconstitutional."
The Avalon in Hollywood, Blue Moon in North Hollywood and Exchange LA downtown also keep their dance floors open past 2 a.m., and a few hip eateries like Fred 62 in Los Feliz and Toi on Sunset in Hollywood are open to feed the late-night masses.
By keeping the bar open but not serving alcohol between 2 and 6 a.m., in accordance with the law, Los Globos and its promoters attract about 300 extra customers on weekend nights. Instead of booze, the bar makes its money on bottled water and Red Bull. It runs on an unrestricted dance and liquor license that was grandfathered in from the building's early days, giving it the same after-hours operating privileges as the Avalon. Smoking is also permitted.
"I always have a good time, but I don't like how I have to pay for it afterwards," said Richard, a man in his mid-20s who refused to give his last name. "I started coming after Funky Sole," he said, referring to the soul dance night every Saturday at the Echo. "Once I get my dance-vibe going I don't always want to stop when Funky Sole closes. Los Globos is a place where you don't have to stop."
"A lot of people criticize L.A. saying it's not so culturally rich, but it is — you just have to find the right place. And Los Globos is the right place," said his friend Nikki, visiting from New York. It was her first time visiting Los Globos.
Conversation is nearly impossible inside, but no one seems to care. By 6 a.m., when the bar can resume serving alcohol legally, there are a few takers, but only a few. Mitch Edelson says they will usually sell only three or four drinks. Most of all, these people just want to dance.
Where: 3040 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A.
When: 9 p.m. to morning close, Friday and Saturday
Price: $20 downstairs weekends, other events separate fees