Sunday, December 22, 2013

That Whirrrrr You Hear ...

... is no doubt caused by this:
A Charles Bukowski-themed bar, appropriately named Barkowski, is set to open this Friday in the obviously dark and dingy streets of Santa Monica.*

Formerly Bar Pico, Barkowski is the brainchild of Richard Miller and John Moritz, who took over the property to turn it into the kind of dive that a lowlife poet would love.

Except, it's not. Judging from the pictures over at Eater, the place doesn't really look like a bar that Bukowski himself would patronize. Where's the acrid smoke? The divey atmosphere? The lusty and downtrodden barflies? The bar looks hip, high-end and pristine, the kind of watering hole that Bukowski would most likely avoid.

Indeed, Miller tells Eater that Barkowski is, "a 60s dive bar with a little class and without the filth." The filth is so important, though!

There are so many things wrong with this place that can be seen almost immediately. Barkowski looks like a bar for bougie people who claim to have read "Ham on Rye" once and go out of their way to tell everyone that it "changed their life." It's the bar equivalent of buying a Misfits shirt at Urban Outfitters. Also, doesn't King Eddy already exist, and didn't Mr. Bukowskiactually patronize that place?

Barkowski will have its grand opening celebration this Friday, December 13, with an ugly Christmas sweater party. Fantastic.
In the realless bull-shit world, The Pink Elephant was allegedly
Photo by M. Bouffant, & don't you forget it!
a favorite liquor store, 'though perhaps because they delivered. (The Elephant is not alky walking distance from 5124 DeLongpre. Let's face it, one's "favorite" liquor store is the closest. Well, the closest that'll give you credit; maybe it was his fave on that basis.
*Santa Monica may not be as inappropriate as you snobs think, per the Weekly:
7. Santa Monica
For a man who was famous for spending time on Skid Row, and who later set up shop in Hollywood on De Longpre, Bukowski spends a lot of time pacing (and insulting) the streets of Santa Monica in this new collection of columns. Perhaps the best nugget comes from a heated speech that he delivers to a bunch of fellow jailed drunks: "Bathing is a disease, catching fish is a disease, calendars are a disease, the city of Santa Monica is a disease, bubblegum is a disease."

In More Notes he spends time taking his daughter to Synanon beach, located near the Casa Del Mar Hotel, named for cultish drug-rehab facility Synanon that was there until 1989.


Weird Dave said...

"He really was a bit of a homebody. He had Pink Elephant deliver his liquor because he had a lot of DUIs," says Schave.

Did you ever meet him?

And it looks like your weblog is living too close to a volcano. Is that a good thing?

M. Bouffant said...

"Brush w/ Greatness" Editor:
Nope. No mutual acquaintances I know of, so not even a handshake. (Example: A friend of an acquaintance/associate once introduced me to R. Crumb at a video opening. Shook his hand, said some complimentary crap & moved on.)

Never read any of C.B's stuff either, but I've never needed low-life instruction; took to it like a duck to water.

M. Bouffant said...

You Choose Editor:
!. Lumps of coal for suckers' stockings hung by the chimneys w/ care.

@. Polluted snow.

#. Bedbug poop, moving.

Weird Dave said...

I'm going with !.
At least it's about what I expect.

M. Bouffant said...

List Editor:
We all get what we deserve, right? Because life is not arbitrary.

Aunt Snow said...

I, too was going to say Santa Monica was an inappropriate location for a bar celebration Bukowski, but now I see he had a Synanon connection, I feel differently.

The bar's address is just a stone's throw from my new work location; my old work's location was just down the block from where Synanon was. And not - it was not "near" the Casa del Mar, it WAS the Casa del Mar. The Casa and that whole area was very sketchy in those days.

Whenever I go in there for a drink in the lobby bar, I think about that, and it adds a new dimension to the experience.

I never met Bukowski OR R. Crumb, but I did meet John Waters, and I also got to introduce him to my 14 year old kid.

Aunt Snow said...

Actually, now that I think of it, this is really depressing. First they renovate the King Eddy, and then someone creates a fake Bukowski-themed bar in Santa Monica, just down the street from Trader Joe's.

It is so wrong.