Barney’s Beanery is back in style, bringing ‘90s flavor back in a big way. Nostalgia enthusiasts—namely, a slew of twenty-somethings—are waiting in lines down the sidewalk of up to 50 people just to get in. At 10 p.m. on a Saturday night, Barney’s Beanery is the place to be.
The century-old bar offers patrons food and fun that more typical entertainment venues simply can’t offer. The dive bar and diner serve social groups circling packed pool tables, shuffleboard games, and retro arcade games. It’s giving ‘90s and 2000s vibes with all the purely energetic fun that encompassed the decades. From birthday celebrations to your average (and otherwise dull) evening, Barney’s Beanery is re-re-defining fun.
Barney’s Beanery was founded by L.A. native and World War I veteran John “Barney” Anthony in Berkeley in 1920 but moved to West Hollywood by 1927. Rising celebrities and up-and-comers have been hitting the establishment for the last hundred years. One wall displays a framed canceled check from Marilyn Monroe herself for an order of their famous chili. Tales of celebrities encapsulate the building. When you visit, if you ask for some anecdotes about the diner, you could be there for hours on end. You might even end up sitting in Quentin Tarantino’s favorite booth.
Bar Rescue’s John Taffer used to manage the place, serving regulars like Sylvester Stallone and Francis Ford Coppola beer in the 1980s. While it remained a community staple, the young crowd hadn’t fully taken to it until now—and now, their enthusiasm can’t be stopped. The general consensus is that there’s just a feeling, energy, or vibe that’s too attractive to miss. Once people give in to the FOMO and go for themselves, they can’t help but want to go back. And they’re willing to wait in line to do it.
“I think the long-term success of Barney’s is because we have this sort of magic to us,” stated manager AJ Sacher. “Barney’s feels like a place from where you’re from, wherever that is. It’s hard to put your finger on why, and it’s kind of uncanny.”
Whether you want to eat waffles and play basketball or be where the TikTok ‘it’ girls are at, Barney’s has you covered. If you want to casually bump into Selena Gomez, you might be able to do that, too. She showed up in April and August of this year, sparking national attention and sending the local hype into overdrive.
Celebrities and new community members alike love the joint. Take Turner Anderson, 23, who moved to LA from Texas about six weeks ago. She spent the evening there with her friends, excited about the vintage pinball machines. “This bar has more of a Texas vibe than anywhere I’ve been in L.A.,” says Anderson, who learned about the bar from her new friends. “You can come here and be able to talk to your friends and not have to scream at them.”
According to Avery Morgan and Nathalie Eid, two 21-year-old students who hang out at Barney’s, “It’s a lot different from what I expected. The crowd [at Barney’s] is really diverse. A lot of places in L.A. are very niche. The crowd here isn’t your typical stuck-up L.A. club people.”
While fresh blood is determined to spice things up, the regulars aren’t far to be found. Barney’s ‘VIP’ Marco DelVecchio, about to appear in Season 3 of Fboy Island, is a self-appointed promoter of the place. The 28-year-old stand-up comedian records his podcast on the patio, enjoying every minute of it. He talks with influencers and personalities like Justin Bieber on the podcast in a comfortable environment where people don’t ask for photos and autographs—they’re just there to chill.
The excitement isn’t expected to die down any time soon. So, if you’re headed out Saturday night, you might want to leave a bit earlier to beat the queue.