Storefront Report: Highland Park dive bar to get a “bungalow” makeover

Highland Park, bars

Highland Park getting less divey | Nathan Solis

By Nathan Solis

Dusty’s Bar will be undergoing some changes as the new owners look to spruce up the Highland Park dive bar. The Garvanza Improvement Association’s Facebook page says the plan to replace  Dusty’s dive-bar mystique with a “bungalow-like design”  appears to be aimed at attracting a different type of customer:

@HLP90042 is already mourning the loss of what it called “the  last true dive bar of 90042.” Along with the removal of the name Dusty’s from the York Boulevard building, the hours of operation have been clipped to Thursday through Sunday.

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis stories, reviews and photos at Smashed Chair.


  1. Great news, Hoping that Starbucks and this new bar will keep the area a little cleaner!

  2. Never thought I’d see the day when old ratty Dusty’s gets a makeover. Looking forward to a hopefully more bright, open and inviting setup.

  3. The last dive bar in 90042 is the tailgate of my truck. Cum get some sluts.

  4. Echo Park resident

    “a different type of resident” = snooty Westside transplants

    (In before someone tries to pin this on all white people, hipsters or other groups. Hipsters LOVE crappy dives.)

    • Indeed, it would be a pity to blame hipsters when we could put it on westsiders instead. Don’t want to let the demonology stagnate.

  5. It sounds from GIA’s post that the new Starbucks that will be doing the “bungalow-like design,” not Dusty’s.

  6. This is not a change in Highland Park that anyone ought to mourn.
    Dusty’s is straight up creepy. If this is your favorite bar, time to revaluate everything about your life.

  7. Good luck getting the Aves out, …seriously

  8. Suds- avenues? Did you just wake up from a coma? Haha

  9. @suds : The human race has evolved past gang members. As Tony said, they are a dying breed. The world has left them behind with our other knuckle dragging ancestors.

  10. I don’t know that American society has progressed beyond gangs(?). They’ve been a prominent feature of American history for most of this country’s existence. Anyway, L.A. gangs have been redefining and reorganizing themselves since the mid-90s and with a purpose. The era of turf-based gangs is fading but the millennial version is potent and sinister albeit inconspicuous by normal L.A. standards but those standards are dated. It’s a mystery what the situation will be in 10 years. Changes over the past 20 years have been so dramatic, it’s difficult to rule anything from better to worse out, but for now, I’m enjoying living in my very own “good old days”, which is easy if you recall the bad ones.

  11. frederick portillo

    Frederick Portillo good changes? upgrading customers? who runs this Garvanza improvement association? Upper class folks that seemingly don’t understand the value of the good changes in highland park vs eagle rock, which has TWO starbucks… why is a 3rd needed for you people that can’t seem to get coffee at a local place w local money? you wanna improve highland park/garvanza? don’t make me laugh.. you can improve it by forbidding starbucks, mcdonalds, jack in the box, carrows, pizza hut, domino’s, vons and, allow in more scoops, italiano’s, elsa’s antigua (the ORIGINAL down by cypress park), cafe de leche, the book stores, mechanics, york bar, wombleton records, cacao, figueroa produce (RIP), señor fish, oinkster, good girl, cinammon vegetarian (RIP)… antojitos guerrero, the greyhound… I seriously need to make this argument?? “I hope they put more TV’s in?!?!?!?” what the eff, dudes???? you people are so…. i hope you’re complacent and happy once starbucks comes in and your nice bar w microbrews and fancy local mixologists… (full disclosure, i’m all for… as long as applebees isn’t trying to show their phony love for our community when it brings its wifi and air conditioners and it’s conveniences that we already have locally…or starbucks… or…) Highland-Park Neighborhood-Council I’m looking your way

  12. In responding to comments directly and to be more specific about the patrons we were referencing, we are talking about the criminal activity that has been run out of Dusty’s for decades. Local neighbors have had to deal with the problems resulting from this on almost a daily basis. So when we said patrons, we thought most following this group would be familiar with Dusty’s and get the reference. Dusty’s always led back to the root of our local problems – prostitution (local neighbors will know of the twins) stabbings, drug sales, a murder by gunfire, credit card fraud – the list goes on. Having lived in Garvanza for over 30 years, we think that is long enough to wait for a business to “upgrade” and cease this activity. Finally, the police closed Dusty’s and never wanted it reopened as a bar. We courted new owners who have managed neighborhood bars responsibly and with time, we were able to get the police to agree to a bar there. You see we have been an active part of the good changes in the neighborhood for many years, even when others said it was a waste of time. We joined a neighborhood we love and have worked hard to make it better and safer — and we will continue to do so.

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