Storefront Report: Highland Park to say goodbye to Little Cave and ¡Hola! to La Cuevita

Photo by Wha'ppen/Flickr

The  Highland Park tavern known as Little Cave is undergoing a transformation, with the owners stocking up on tequila and agave based drinks and renaming  the place “La Cuevita” in time for a Cinco de Mayo opening.  A spokeswoman for the 1933 Group, which owns Big Foot Lodge in Atwater Village and The Thirsty Crow in Silver Lake, said the renovation of the Figueroa Street bar into an “Old  World Mexican grotto” is scheduled to be completed by May 4.  More details coming soon.


  1. but that SIGN. That sign is one of the best in HP!

  2. Just because this is a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood doesn’t mean we need to be patronized with tequila and a spanish name. and a cinco de mayo opening? really? will everyone be wearing sombreros and taking siestas outside too? I hope there’s plenty of parking for our burros.

    • Normally I’d agree with you, but most of the renovation has already been done and I found nothing pandering about it other than the maybe the grand opening date – but whatever, its become a holiday so it’s good business.

  3. Just what we need, more “authentic” Mexican joints for hipsters to creep at. LAAAAMMMEEEE

  4. Ever since they got rid of the old crew the place went to shit. Oh well it’s not the only bar in HLP

  5. I remember when this used to be a hard core, biker bar that no skinny jeaned, “go green” hipster sheep would dare wander in looking for a charging station and a PBR .

    I think it’s great that it’s now accessible to everyone (not just the motorcycle and prison inclined) and is a nice fixture in the HP culture, but why ruin it with some sort of theme or schmaltzy asthetic? Do Mexicans live and party in “grottos” somewhere in the old country?

    More hipster sheep running wild and ruining something else.

    Should we start a game on here where we can submit guesses now on how many serapes, sombreros and luchador masks they’ll have hanging about the place?

  6. Some of my favorite things are dark and dank, but not that bar. Bring on change!

    • Yep. I’ve lived around the corner for yearsand never used to go. Not because I’m a scared hipster, but because it sucked.

  7. They better not jack up the prices. This is Highland Park not Silver Lake.

  8. I hope it doesn’t end up looking like the restaurant on Sunset (close to the old KCET)…friends loved it, I couldn’t read the menu, the food was…ok (I’ve had much better at La Abeja) and the noise—painful.
    I, too, love the signs–just never thought it was a place I’d be welcome in…

    Well, if there’s an audience for what they’re going to offer, it’ll last. If not, something else will replace it. Footsie’s is one thing…a more active part of Fig–but The Cave–it’s not in one of the better stretches of Fig…I wonder what kind of parking they have, aside from on the street… (as realtors say, ‘location, location, location’)

  9. I can see why they feel like they need a new approach for the bar. The atmosphere as it is just isn’t that interesting or pleasant. That said, I really don’t understand why they decided to pursue a theme that’s bound to ring false in this neighborhood.

    Why don’t they just revert it to the Highland Hofbrau, upgrade the jukebox, and make some damn sandwiches?

    • thelittlestcaver

      I could not disagree with you more. This has always been one of my favorite bars in L.A. Prior to the beginning of the “makeover” there was always a healthy crowd there once nine o clock hit, there was always damned decent music playing whether via the jukebox or one of several local D.J.s (it may not be “cool” but being in the midst of what seemed like the entire neighborhood in the bar singing along to every word of a Smith’s album was one of the most adorable experiences I’ve ever had). I have never once had a bad time in that bar, however, I feel like the renovations have caused it to lose a lot of its luster and the music has been sliding downhill steadily. I don’t hate Bob Marley, but if I never hear the song No Woman No Cry in a bar again I will be a much happier individual. It has always been a great neighborhood bar, for people in the neighborhood, and I wish people would leave well enough alone. Also la cuevita is a super lame name. Little Cave forever. At any rate I hope they give me the sign, that’s the best piece of signage in this town. I hope all you jerks who were too ridiculous to appreciate the magic of the cave enjoy having another crappy bar exactly like all the other crappy bars out there, lord knows there are;t enough of them. Way to go and kill my favorite spot, 1933 group. Well played.

  10. I’m with K regarding the sign.

  11. I’m gonna miss the Cave. Yea it was getting hipster, but it had a nice ecclectic feel to it. Lot’s of different personalities there. I’m escpecially gonna miss the bar lady with the German name and the fire-breathing bf…

  12. I was walking by last week and saw the old Hofbrau sign, still intact, hoping that they will rename it this way. Nope…What a bad business decision!

  13. Gilka…that was her name! She was the cutest bartender…

  14. I Love tequila and mezcal. The Change sounds fun!! I hope it will carry Pisco.

  15. I’m guessing that they’re trying to replicate the feel of some of the new places near York and Avenue 50 – but that stretch of Figueroa just isn’t as inviting. They should talk to the Figueroa Theater and convince them to show an independent-type film, then find some way to encourage the moviegoers to walk over to the Cuevita for a drink afterward. Also, if they’re smart, they won’t raise the prices on the drinks; ideally they’ll just add more types of tequilas and train the bartenders on the various types, so that the tequila connosieurs will be able to order more pricey stuff but they won’t lose their regular clientele.

  16. About that sign: Pretty sure it was salvaged (or copied?) from the original Little Cave, which was at the corner of Sunset and Westerly, in Silver Lake.

  17. I went in this past week and the bar looks great, the beers on tap were good (they brought back newcastle), and the girl djing was awesome. (she’s one of the best things about this bar) I’ve been a loyal little cave customer for 2 years and people should stop complaining about the changes- bar is nicer on the inside, drinks are better and the atmosphere of the whole bar has changed (and i’m ok with that). I remember nights where they used to be a line to get in, now there’s no line so i’m good with that. This is a neighborhood bar, for everyone – not just one group of people, so get over it.

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