The Crush Bar

The first place I worked as a bartender was at a place called “The Crush Bar” in Hollywood. It was a half a block above Hollywood Boulevard and was open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights only. In those three nights we made a killing. 

It was owned by two sleezy brothers from Lebanon. The draw of the place was the music. The DJs only played Motown hits and Disco, and other music from the 60’s and 70’s. It had a line every night they were open and even though the place looked like it hadn’t been decorated since 1960, people loved it. They only served beer in cans and all the alcohol was served in plastic cups. Real classy joint. No décor, no fancy Hollywood atmosphere, just a big dance floor, great music and beer cans. What more could you want?

Some celebrities came in once in awhile. I remember serving Morgan Freeman and Samuel Jackson in the same night who were part of a big party they were having there. Another time I served Sharon Stone a drink and she gave me a friendly, condescending “thank you.” No Sharon, thank you for Basic Instinct. I love that movie with or without the beaver shot.




But the memory that sticks out most from this place, aside from the bouncer I hooked up with, which is a memory I wish I could forget, is the proposition I got from one of the sleezy owners. After I had been working there for awhile, he told me he had a “business proposition” for me. I thought “maybe he’ll make me bar manager and I can earn more money.” Wrong! He told me he’d pay my rent if I banged him once a week.

I was horrified. Let me tell you that I would’ve had to have had a mortgage in Malibu to bang this guy. My rent at the time was $450 a month. Not exactly worth it if you know what I mean. He was married with a couple of kids, not to mention how nasty looking he was. I gracefully declined by telling him I had a boyfriend, which I didn’t, but I didn’t want to lose my job by telling him how disgusting he was. I totally could’ve sued for sexual harassment. Is there a statute of limitations on sexual harassment? Can I still sue that sleeze bag? I could use the cash.

Meanwhile, another brother worked as a bartender and would regularly steal money from the bar. I wasn’t going to rat the brother out, so I would just turn a blind eye and take a shot of Jagermeister. Did you know that Jagermeister has 56 herbs in it and the monks used to use it for medicine? But there isn’t enough Jagermeister in the world to have banged that guy. Why can’t someone hot offer to pay my rent, or at least my cell phone bill?

Oh, one other memory I have from the Crush Bar is when the DJ asked me if I wanted to have a threesome with him and his wife. Hello? I told him I only do five or more.

Happy Friday!! Have a great weekend.


*The picture at the top was the outside wall of the Crush Bar. I can’t believe I found that picture online, because it hasn’t been the Crush Bar for at least 15 years. Since then it’s been a few different places and is now named “The Colony.”

It was better with Stevie Wonder's face painted on the side....


About Death To Hollywood

My name is Celeste Donohue and I am a writer/comedian who started this blog to tell stories about my life growing up in a funeral home and my adult life which I have spent in Hollywood, California – hence the name, “Death To Hollywood”. Hopefully, you like to read those kinds of stories. If not, go read something serious and boring.....
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51 Responses to The Crush Bar

  1. Kris says:

    I remember the Crush Bar…..don’t remember that gross proposition…..sounds like a real great place!! Jager can be used for medicinal purposes when you have a cold….if sipped, but who wants to sip that stuff? I love your blog…keep the stories coming, Cee:)

  2. Christina says:

    I remember the crush bar great place I loved to work at However incompentent ownership where we were paid 5 dollars an hour and that included overtime and holidays.. Lack of respect and when this place closed down we didnt even get a final pay check.. All of our taxes were stollen form us.. Love the place but HATE the owners…

  3. Pat says:

    Well Kris i don’t what your talking about you working at the Crush Bar you see i was the Bar Manger for the Crush for 18 and half years and you never work behide any of my bars so if you work there then you will know who i am and am not Naz and the owner never had a brother working behide a bar there was 2 owners and they were bothers so you got that all wrong and as for the DJ he never was married so if you like to tell me why your doing this i like to know you can find me on facebook so let get things right i hate to see Naz sue you for this so hit me up on facebook or e-mail lot about this is wrong hun dont really think you will but i will wait to see

    • Well, I did work there and I did get propositioned, and if the guy working behind the bar wasn’t their brother, then they lied to me. The DJ I’m talking about was married (there was more than one DJ) and I honestly don’t even know why you care about my silly little blog. It hasn’t been the Crush bar for at least ten years and as far as being sued, well that’s just funny. What exactly would I be sued for, not naming anyone sleezy? So I say “bring it” . Everything I wrote is true. How did you even find this? What, were you googling “the Crush Bar” or just places that serve beer in cans? By the way, my name isn’t Kris.

    • gabby says:

      Hi Pat, Celeste did work there. If I remember correctly she worked with Tony’s brother at the bar need the DJ booth

  4. Sergio says:

    I remember a good looking bartender with the long curly hair. She always made the drinks perfect. I think her name was Gina.

    Lee was a cool dude who was always giving some wisdom in the men’s room.

  5. liz says:

    well wow…i just came upon this and which bartender are you? pat?? it’s me, liz, the shot girl…this is great. i have great memories from the crush seeing as how i was there on & off for about 17 years! what r u up to and where are u now?

  6. Kevin says:

    Well, this is just like a big reunion now isn’t it…i worked the door at the Crush Bar for 3 years with Richie, Eddie and Hector as well as a few others so I can only imagine which one you hooked up with cause it wasn’t me, the dorky little white kid from Boston 🙂 Yes, I did actually just google “Crush Bar” as someone i work with just asked me about the place. I thought Pat’s daughter was the shot girl? Celeste I can’t say i remember you but we may not have crossed paths, honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if this story was completely true, the place was shady inside and out, shit happened there all the time that made me question if I would go back the next weekend. That being said, I had a great time while I was there and everyone treated me well but I could write a blog of my own filled with random Crush Bar stories. Girls getting banged on the pool table during after hours, lines of blow on the back bar, fights with knives, fights with guns, security calling the cops to help with mobs outside, cops harassing Eddie and Naz for unknown reasons for weeks (at least unknown to me) valley girl bachelorette parties mixing with east LA bikers, random celebrities (Bill Nye the science guy, Mickey Dolenz from the Monkees, Jillian Barberie, Slash would come in late to play pool, many others) then there were the regulars, the guy that danced on the wall in the orange jumpsuit, the guy that had a crayola assortment of bright colored suits. Ok, the place was awesome, I’d go this weekend if it was there LOL.

    • HI Kevin, I’m glad you saw this. I don’t know if our paths crossed either, but I remember some of the people you mentioned. I also think I was gone before the really crazy stuff happened like the pool table sex and the lines of coke…too bad I missed it 🙂 As bizarre as that place was, it was fun. I liked working there and the music was great. I’d go tonite too if it was open. 🙂 thanks for commenting.

    • Christina says:

      Hi Kevin I was along with Liz and then I moved up to being a bartender

      • Christina says:

        But I gotta admit thru all the bitching and complaining.. I truly miss the Crush Bar.. I had many fun memories. Great customers who I called friends and many friends who I called Family…. Hell I am with Gabby We need a reunion.. 🙂

    • Delilah Rodriguez says:

      The guy with the crazy Mc Hammer pants never left the dancer floor. He was mad cool

  7. Geena says:

    OMG… I’ve been trying to remember the name of that place for 10 years, just saw another club called “Crush Room” in another state and it came back. My friends and I used to frequest that place all the time, last time was when we were kicked out for being too crazy ( I’m sure that’s not the first time the guys in GnR and Poison, who is who I was with) have heard that. Yeah the place was a little dark and grungy, but good times!!

    • Well, I’m glad you found my story to jog your memory. I love that you were with those guys, a lot of celebrities would come in there and as you know, many wild and crazy nights. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  8. Registered Independent says:

    My husband and I used to go to the Crush Bar in the mid to late 1980s and it was absolutely the best place for dancing in the entire greater-Los Angeles area. It had NO competition. The dancing music was unbelievably good every single time, some very smart person was deciding which records would be played. It was THE place for people who liked to dance. We were from Manhattan Beach so we also liked the fact that it had a somewhat gritty Hollywood aspect to it: a whole change of scenery for us, if you know anything about tony, homogenous Manhattan Beach. It was worth the drive down to Hollywood, and standing in line, for the continuously good music, instead of the usual crap that someone was promoting. We had so much fun there, week after week. What finally ruined it for us after several years was only when the rest of the Manhattan Beach/West Side crowd discovered it, and overran the place.

    • Hi are absolutely right! It was the best place to dance and someone should steal the idea and open a new one without the seediness. I’m glad you stumbled across my story and glad you had such a good time at the place we all have such fond and crazy memories from 🙂

  9. Rifka Lewie says:

    The Crush Bar was the most fun dance place in Hollywood. The DJ was Ramone. My girlfriend dated him for a while…. fun days indeed

  10. Gabby says:

    Hi everybody I hope you guys are all well. I came across this blog and was compelled to write a thing or two about the Crush Bar.”Crush Bar” not “Crush Club”. First of all let’s get that right. Could never stand when people would refer to it has the Crush Club. My name is Gabby and I was one of the regular DJ’s there for about 14 years if I remember correctly.
    Ramone was never a DJ and never dictated what the play list was. He was the boyfriend of the lady (Pam Motown) who originally discovered the Crush Bar. He was her interest there because of the bad feelings that occurred when Nazareth and his brother with their manager Tony tried to oust her and do it on their own. It failed miserably for them and we all came back to the Cahuenga location after a short spell at a location on Sunset. If I am correct. Could have been Hollywood Blvd. Too many brain cells ago though.
    On the first evening of the Crush the DJ was the late great Ian Campbell. He did the first couple of nights then Jim O’Connor took over for a couple then Pam asked me if I could fill in for Jim. While he was away. After his return it became a rotation of Jim & I every other week.
    The night grew and grew week by week until at about the 6 months mark we had lines forming outside the venue. It actually became quite a trendy Hollywood hang out at one point.
    I remember the cast of Night Court would come nearly every Friday night after shooting. The Brat Pack came, Bruce Willis hung out several times and not to forget Bruce Springsteen. At the time he was dating that model who I think he married; she attended the club regular.
    There was a really nice bartender named Billy who worked there in the early days. I remember the night his father came to visit him.The crowd swarmed all over the bar where he Billy worked. His father was Peter Faulk, (Columbo) fame.
    We all had so many great nights at The Crush Bar. A lot of booze was consumed and we met alot of people week in and week out. It would be so nice to have a reunion sometime. I have been thinking about creating a Facebook page for the old Crush Bar. Does anybody have and ideas and what do you think?
    Gotta run until next time.
    Regards & Hugs to all


  11. Cresh says:

    Crush Bar was one my highlights living in LA from ’87 to ’91. I would never take a date to the Crush Bar. Got in trouble later because I would never take my fiance’ there. It was my Bar…my memories. Great place!

    • Debbie says:

      Hi Gabby! I met you in 87. I had just moved to LA from Devon. You Dj’d at Bruce Willis’s and Demi’s engagement party or birthday? it was in a small music venue / club. You and Steven were very kind to me. You probably don’t remember me but you have stuck in my mind for your kindness to an LA newcomer. I only stayed a year and moved back to the UK where I live in London. Sending love to you and your family x

  12. THE Crush Bar!!! Absolutely no way that I happened onto this…
    DEATH TO HOLLYWOOD, would certainly characterize the sad demise of THE Crush Bar!!!
    I initially started coming to the Crush Bar a week, or two, upon it’s inception. I don’t rememember ANYONE named “Ramone”, however, I do remember Eddie, Kevin, Pat, Gina, Celeste, Liz, Christina, Gabby, Lee, and Naz….
    For as long as I “attended”, I have years worth of exceedingly cool stories about the Crush Bar…
    THE Crush Bar was somewhere that you entered a completely different world, and you could not Help but have an ENCHANTING Evening, and I don’t use that word loosely….
    I am not, nor have I ever been, a very politically correct guy having experienced Northern Soul whilst serving Our country abroad a few years before on a little island across the pond…
    THE “CRUSH BAR” was a place where you could take friend, or foe, with the simple phrase, “I’m going to take you someplace this evening that Will change your Life….”, with complete honesty, and authority, if you will….
    I wasn’t just the Incredible DJ, the Music, the Dancing, or the Atmousphere of “THE” CRUSH BAR…. {YES, it was!!!), but also, or more so, the truly awesome people who worked there! ALL of them!! Yes, ALL, of them!!! They were truly nice with no artifice.
    I remember Gabby’s kindness in playing “Requests” helped me in meeting many nice girls… I will be forever indebted to him…. for to this day, being one of the finest gentlemen I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. And, certainly, I am not alone, as everyone that I knew at that time truly loved him and the “crew” that made the Crush Bar!!!
    Thank you so much for the Great memories!
    M. Otto Pedersen

  13. Brittain says:

    Classic memories at the Crush. Love your story. I have a pin from there while going through a box. Happy to send it to someone who I am sure overserved me. Db.

  14. Edward says:

    Yes, I was one of the main bouncers there. Better known as “Eddie Spaghetti”. Boy do I miss the Crush Bar. So many memories. Got my start in life from there. I would love to do a reunion to connect with the people I worked with.

    • Christina says:

      Eddie there is a facebook group that is dedicated to the crush bar. If you want you can add me on facebook and I can add your to the group.

      Look for Christina Chavez-Fosados.

  15. Joseph golden says:

    Hey Eddie…this is Joseph…I was the armed security there….I also worked with your brother Bobby…I’ve been trying to find you brotha man how are you doing

  16. Delilah Rodriguez says:

    I miss the Crush Bar. Found out about it from a old friend who knew my love for oldies, old school and disco. My cousin and I FELL HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE with the place. We’d go every other weekend and would occasionally take friends. Wish someone would open up another place like this minus the sleezy owners. Damn now I want a Pear Harbor (one of the drink a bartender made YUM)

  17. Misty says:

    Loved reading this!!! My friends and I use to dance, dance, dance at the Crush Bar on Thursday nights. 1986 – 1988. Great music. Fun times. Really great memories.

  18. Debbie Carmichael says:

    If the DJ Gabby is reading this, I have found some old photos! I can pm them over if you want to see them.


  19. Carolyn says:

    LOVED the crush bar…my boyfriend would slip the bouncer a 20 and we never had to wait on line… we had so much fun in those days!

  20. Erik says:

    We went two or three times a month in the late ’80s and early ’90s. It was such a kick — the music, the below-dive atmosphere and … the pizza! Does anyone remember when management (we assumed) would order maybe 15-20 large pizzas and let the dancers feast? Haven’t seen anything like that before or since. Also remember that the DJs would break with the Motown/disco thing each week to play “Come On Eileen” and Parliament’s “Flashlight.” Terrific memories.

  21. Mike says:

    I went there in 1987 while staying with my friend Julie who had moved out there from Boston. I was only there for a week. It was an awesome time. Great music and lots of dancing. The only highlight I have from that place was one of the bartenders tried to pick me up. She was a tall brunette with long curly hair. Very pretty. I was only there for the week and that night I was thanking my friend and her roommate for letting me crash with them.
    My mullet was in full form

  22. steve wiliams says:

    Steve the Breeze…..I was one of the the DJ’s there. I threw the after party’s there when finished at the China Club in 91 and 92 before I had to move it to Santa Monica. My boy LC worked security also worked at Roscoe’s. I was the one of the first DJ’s to introduce Hollywood to NWA and 2Short and it was at the Crush Bar! loved that place.

  23. Stay tucker says:

    I use to go their every Friday night was about 27, had a ball loved my girl DJ ” SUMMER” PLAYED A SONG I LOVE FORGOT THE NAME OF IT, WISH I KNEW, WISH IT WAS STILL OPEN WOULD GO NOW AT 45 LOL

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