Thanks to the magic of Netflix, this year I discovered and became obsessed with a little show called “New Girl.” The show tells the story of a quirky 30-something girl played by Zooey Deschanel, and her three male roommates who live very hipster lives in Los Angeles. Recently, after indulging in a “New Girl” marathon I noticed that the hilarious quartet share a loft in what appears to be the Arts District in Downtown. This would not be a problem except that they hang out at a neighborhood bar that I know for a fact is not anywhere near the Arts District! I know… Why was I so alarmed by this stupid detail? Well, probably because I watched too many episodes in a row and because every time the scene put the cast in the bar, they flashed the picture of the outside of a bar I recognized. Yup, if you have never noticed, go back and watch an episode, (or twelve), and notice that their neighborhood bar, is in fact The Griffin.
This bar is located in Atwater Village on Los Feliz Blvd. and is nowhere near the Arts District, but I guess that is what is defined as suspension of belief. It had been many years since I had visited The Griffin and while I was certain that “New Girl” used the outside of the bar, what with the unmistakable sign portraying a bright green griffin in silhouette, I was not sure if they filmed the show on location or on a set. I decided this would be a good excuse for a Happy Hour adventure, and so on a Friday near dusk, I gathered my friends and went on a double mission.
My first mission was to satiate my end of the work week thirst and that was easy because The Griffin hosts Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 5pm to 7pm. Their specials consist of $5 draft beers, $5 well drinks, $5 wines by the glass, along with assorted food items that I would classify as pretty typical bar food. Their beer list is short but solid, providing a good beer for every palate. I started off with a Telegraph California Ale and then switched over to a Moscow Mule which was perfectly refreshing and gingery.
After a couple of drinks, I was onto the second part of my mission and after much deliberation, we decided that no, the show was not filmed there. While both the fictional bar and The Griffin share similarities, like the dark atmosphere and too cool for school patrons, the Griffin has a Medieval meets Arabian Nights kind of coziness. The bar has fire places, leather seating in one room and then low to the floor tables with plush tapestries on the walls in another. The bar also has a patio that would be a great place to hang out in except smokers still exist in LA. Who knew?
To be honest, at the end of my Happy Hour adventure I concluded that the best part of my experience there was trying to figure out if “New Girl” was filmed there. It is a middle of the road type of Happy Hour. Nothing about it was bad, but nothing really stood out to me either.
By: W. Castellanos-Wolf