The saying here goes “Leave your religions at the door and elevate your mind.” And those who enter these doors better pay heed because this is a place of no judgement. Individuals wear their personal statements, from tightly-laced corsets, fish net bodysuits, thigh-high PVC boots, spikes and some even sport a pair of fancy fangs. This sanctuary catering to the goth and alternative scene has been around since the late 1990s. I was in high school when I first heard of Bar Sinister and not of age to get in, sadly for me. It would be about 15 years before my first visit! Here’s a glimpse inside.
It was a dark and chilly evening on the streets of Hollywood and a line of people was snaking around the corner of the street. Before heading in, my party and I stopped to have a drink at Boardner’s located right next door – a lounge that dates to 1942. It still exudes an old Hollywood atmosphere mixed with the vibes of a speakeasy. It’s dark with vintage décor and an antique cash register behind the bar.
After enjoying our first refreshment of the evening, we headed over to Bar Sinister. There are three main rooms, each with its own bar – the dance floor, the patio area where stage performances are held and the fetish room on the upper level called Purgatory. I told you this is a place of no judgement. Whether you come to seductively sway the night away to industrial beats, watch a live show or be a voyeur to the naughty action happening upstairs, you’ll find something to awaken your senses.
I love to dance so we headed to the room where the DJ was set up spinning sinfully delightful music. Electric, goth beats pulsated and people were completely caught up in the sounds. That night, there was a special show being put on by goth musician Aurelio Voltaire to celebrate his birthday. He’s known for his dark cabaret sound blended with fun theatrical elements. At the stroke of midnight, he took to the stage for an hour-long performance. It was my first time seeing him live and he is a very witty entertainer. Bar Sinister features new performers every week, so check their calendar for upcoming appearances.
Some helpful things to know before you go: the cover charge is $10 and cash only, but some nights discount passes are offered; the dress code is a bit strict and calls for your alternative best. If you’re out of dress code, the entrance fee is $20. My husband isn’t goth, but he was able to pass with a black shirt, jacket and converse, paired with dark wash jeans. You can read the establishment’s guidelines in more detail at barsinister.net.
Bottom line, if you decide to visit, have fun, mix and mingle if you desire, and enjoy being with fellow creatures of the night!