Echo Park’s Little Joy bar reopening Friday

Little Joy, the former dive bar on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Portia in Echo Park, underwent ownership changes and quite a few renovations since its closure last November. Now, it’s reopening a couple of days earlier than reported on Friday, March 29.

Owners Reyna-Donaldson (an Echo Park resident) and Don Andes have restored much of the bar’s original interior flare, according to a press release:

Little Joy has been stripped to its industrial bones and then carefully layered with a touch of Art Deco and a lick of rock’n’roll.  The building’s original brick and broken plaster has been uncovered along with a number of authentic details that highlight the location’s previous lives as a 1920s auto body shop, a mid-century pharmacy and ultimately, a bar beginning in the early ‘60s.

The pool tables remain, but one of the improvements we are personally looking forward to is the introduction of several beers on tap (eight, to be exact), a “rotating menu of local and hard-to-find brews.” Wines and cocktails will also be on the menu – and you can now leave the cash at home to pay with a card.

Gone are the peeling plastic-covered chairs and sticky tables, replaced with fresh bar stools and new booths. We doubt that Corona painting made it through the changes. One thing is for sure – Little Joy is no longer a dive bar, but at least the bathrooms are MUCH improved!

Related articles:

  • Echo Park Bar Owners Aim to Give Dodger Fans Some Extra Joy, FishbowlLA
  • Little Joy Sneak Peak: The bar is nice but look at that ladies room, The Eastsider LA
  • Pingback: Shopper & Diner Report: Coffee now brewing at Echo Park’s Tierra Mia; work underway on Sonny’s Hideaway in Highland Park; MILK coming to Silver Lake? | Eastsider LA | Hometown Pasadena |()

  • ed kestas reivydas

    My parents, Lou and Gene (Liudas and Genovaite ; Lithuanian immigrants) owned Little Joy – it was called “Little Joy Jr” for some reason – in the 1970’s.
    I used to wash the floors every morning ( I was about 13-14 yrs old when they bought it) and got to keep the cash that I found which had been dropped by patrons the night before. Thats how I got paid.
    If my memory serves me right, my father quickly hired a gay bartender “Manny” since he had NO IDEA that the place was known as a gay hangout when he bought it. Keep in mind that this about 1970 and my parents were immigrants and very old-world traditional.
    I remember them asking me what the term “queer” meant and after telling them it meant “odd” or “different” … 14 yrs old “lights went on” and I realized what they were trying to figure out.
    Busineess fell off at first as they attempted to ‘straighten out’ the place but they soon realized that Manny could bring in the business and they let the place take its own course till my dad sold in a deep depression after my mother died……. just memories…..

  • JOaq

    Hey Ed,

    Come by the bar sometime. I would love to talk…


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