If you live in Silver Lake, or frequent the Silver Lake bar scene, you know Stinkers Truck Stop. You probably also know that Stinkers closed this past February. That’s right, that quirky bar went the way of the dinosaurs. … Well, sort of.
The bar known as Stinkers may be gone, but the spirit is still there. Now, it has just had a bit of a face-lift. And you’ll have to start calling it Thirsty Crow.
The biggest difference is definitely the (desperately needed) change in theme. I’ll be the first to admit that I won’t be missing the black and white stripes, but where skunks once liked the walls, the new bar looks a lot more like an old-timey saloon, complete with wood paneling and a jukebox that must have come straight out of the O.K. Corral’s best dancin’ bar (Or at least your grandfather’s closet … if he collected old, wooden jukeboxes.).
And that’s not the only change. Where the menu once boasted mostly mass produced American canned swill (sorry to all you PBR fans out there), in response to overwhelming local demand, the Crow’s specialty is now small batch bourbon and whiskeys. Thirsty Crow still stocks a few varieties of large-scale beers (PBR, Bud and Newkie for example) and has some select local microbrews on tap, but with over 20 scotches and 30 choices in bourbon, whiskey and rye (and my favorite rum, Sailor Jerry, to boot!), you’re bound to find something new to love.
If mixed is more your style, you might be a little disappointed, though, since the menu only lists about 15 signature mixed drinks, and four of those are different takes on the Manhattan ($12). But if you’re in the mood for bubbly, you’re in luck since the Crow boasts some of the most interesting La Marca Prosecco cocktails ($10), from Ernest Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon (Who’s in the mood for some absinthe?) to the Violet Vapor (complete with violet liqueur) right on back down to their simple Champagne Cocktail. You’ll also find spruced up (read: top-shelf liquors) classics ($12) like the traditional Mint Julep with Maker’s Mark or the Old Fashioned with Buffalo Trace.
But the real winner on the cocktail menu is bar manager, Cooper Gillespie’s Thirsty Crow ($12), a combination of citrus, Sazerac, bitters, ginger beer and one more secret ingredient, all topped off with a real maraschino cherry. And I’m not talking about those bright red, syrupy-sweet cherries that your little sister gets in her Shirley Temple, nuh-uh. This is a dark red, prefectly sweet ball of amazingness, with a skin that snaps on your teeth as you bite down into that delicious fruit. This, my friends, is a real cherry. The overall drink comes out sweet, tart, refreshing and mind-blowingly good. No, seriously, give it a try!
For all our DDs out there, they’ve got something for you too. Try the ginger beer, a bubbly soda that burns on the way down, even without any of the alcohol. And that’s not all there is to love. All of their wine and fresh fruit comes from local organic farmers.
The Crow only just opened over the weekend, but Silver Lake locals have already been testing it out since the bar’s soft opening a few weeks ago, and word has been spreading fast. I went in for a private tour at 4 p.m. on a Saturday, and customers were walking in wanting to know if the bar was open yet (And in case you wanted to know, the bar usually opens at 5 p.m.). With the excitement mounting and the Yelp reviews already pouring in, it’s hard to imagine that Thirsty Crow will be anything but a success.
So come check out the new space and chat awhile with Cooper, she knows her liquor and she’ll be happy to tell you all about the different bourbons. Or, if you want some more formal training, go to one of their Sunday tasting classes, where you’ll get your fill of fun tidbits along with your flight.
And remember that even though the bar is named for Aesop’s Fables where the crow has to drop rocks into a jar to get the water, the Crow’s already done all the work and all the liquor’s ready for the drinking!
For more information, call (323) 661-6007 or visit thirstycrowbar.com.
Article posted on 4/26/2010
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