The Short Stop bar in Echo Park acts in two different capacities to its community: First, it acts as a perfect reflection of the diversity of the neighborhood with new hipsters rubbing elbows with work-weary locals and much weirder, and second, it acts as a damn fine dive.
The bar has only recently become a nightlife hotspot, and in fact started off as a sports bar (the proximity to Dodger Stadium inspiring the name). The bar then morphed into a popular cop hangout (which does have something to do with the bullet hole in the door), however the bar now caters to a wide crowd including some of the older patrons just looking to catch a game, which still come on from time to time in honor of the namesake, and the new generation sweeping through Echo Park and Silverlake.
The décor for the bar echoes its old past, with baseball memorabilia and random bar bric-a-brac littering the walls. The real highlight of the bar is the space, however, and their creative use of it. Beyond the cozy bar you find an unexpected miniature dance hall attached, usually spinning techno or 90’s rap, which is a big hit with the crowd, although half are just being ironic. The treats keep coming, as across from the dance hall is a well-stocked game room with every bar distraction you could ask for, from a pool table to a photo booth to pinball, even classic video games make an appearance. If you can’t find anything to do at this bar, be it shaking it to R & B classics or shaking the pinball machine, then you are quite gifted at being boring.
With all of this activity, it can be expected that most nights the bar, already on the smaller side, tends to get rushed. However, while the crowd quickly grows to suffocating sizes the bartenders manage to keep everything moving at a brisk pace. And what are they serving to the hordes? Cheap beer and well drinks, of course; this is a dive bar after all. The beers here range from the ever-present around hipsters 2-3 dollar can of PBR to some surprisingly decent microbrews, but the well drinks really save the money around here, starting off at 5 dollars. Either way, however, it’s hard to spend too much in a bar like this.
Overall, the night is in good hands when you hand it over to a place like the Short Stop. True, every now and then their attempts to appeal to the new, edgy crowd backfire (“Gangsta Hoodrat Night” is exactly as fun as it sounds), but when the bar is relaxed, the drinks are flowing, the music is good and the pool table is open, the Short Stop is the place to be.