I write to you about Roosterfish, the very popular gay bar on Abbot Kinney. As you are aware, Roosterfish closed permanently this past weekend. Roosterfish, like so many local businesses on Abbot Kinney, was simply “priced out” of being able to “make rent” on the increasingly expensive Abbot Kinney Blvd. This has been an unfortunate trend in which only corporate money can afford leasing on “the coolest block in America” (as referenced by GQ magazine), and that trend is leading to the demise of our local culture. What might replace Roosterfish? Will we see a Hooters going up replacing our funky old gay bar (God forbid)?
I wanted to acknowledge Roosterfish’s contribution to our local culture (and “local color”) in the aftermath of its closure. I am not alone in sentimental tribute. This bar meant something to many. The crowds were strong at Roosterfish this past weekend. Local Roosterfish regulars were getting in their last revelry with patrons spilling out into the alleyway. Inside it was pretty much standing room only.
This Monday night, it was a sad sight to see Roosterfish all closed up. (I have attached a few photos of the lonely Roosterfish.) Even in closure someone took time to pay tribute. A single note was left outside the bar along with a bouquet of flowers and a candle. The note read, “R.I.P. Rooster! Thank you for the memories and cheap booze! To the end of an era . . . . We love you! Cheers, (signed) Yana and Andrew.” (Thank you, Yana and Andrew as you express the spirit of Venice.)
Venice devotee, Jim Morrison (were he alive today) might well have attended closing night at Roosterfish. Jim loved a good bar. I like to think that perhaps Jimbo was there in spirit. I like to think perhaps Jimbo and Janis both descended from above on closing night to alight on the bar’s rooftop edge (directly above the Roosterfish mural). Jimbo and Janis, sitting together at roof’s edge, probably then “threw back” shots of Southern Comfort (straight-up!) while raucously toasting all of Abbot Kinney, in happy abandon.
Is there a chance that one of your talented poets over there at the Beachhead might pen a tribute to Roosterfish? Let’s do this ol’ girl right, and retire her with honor.
Having said all this, thank you so much for your coverage of local interests. I enjoy your newspaper a lot! Much love.
– Charles Thomas