A bar seen in the opening credits of “Barfly” is closing thanks to gentrification


the smog cutter bar

The Smog Cutter, as seen in the opening montage of “Barfly.”

A bar that can be seen in the opening credits montage of Barfly, the only movie Charles Bukowski ever wrote, is on its way out. 

Related: Best Barfly Quotes

The Smog Cutter is the latest Los Angeles bar to fall to gentrification, after nearly 30 years in operation, LA Weekly Reports.

Bukowski is also said to have drank at The Smog Cutter, although there is probably not a single dive bar in all of Los Angeles that was open during his time there that hasn’t made the same claim

Then again, many of them are probably right. 

Cole’s, one of the oldest bars in Los Angeles, even marks the place where the writer once emptied his bladder with a plaque.

The Smog Cutter’s owner, Mama Nita, says the bar itself has been around for 77 years.



She told LA Weekly that they were stripped of their annual lease, moved to month-to-month, and were under threat of eviction from the building’s owner. She was also reportedly told she would be responsible for costly renovations.

Unable to continue, she has decided to pack it in. She started as a bartender at the bar, after emigrating from Thailand, and worked her way up to buying it. Now the race to make the city pretty for the well heeled means she has to say goodbye to the bar she so lovingly kept running. 

Related: Watch a Documentary on the Making of Barfly

You can see Smog Cutter’s cameo in the Barfly at the one minute, six second mark.

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