When one bar closes, another one opens. They’re a dime a dozen in the ever-evolving city of West Hollywood and only the strong survive. “Now Boarding” was a fun airline themed bar with great 90’s music on the weekend and the spiciest strawberry margarita I’ve ever tasted. I felt like I was somehow in the movie “Top Gun,” when I celebrated my birthday there two years ago, and was genuinely sad to see it go. Now in its place is quite possibly one of the best new bars I’ve been to this year. “No More Heroes,” located at 7746 Santa Monica Blvd., opened a month ago and is a music lover’s dream. If it’s ambience you’re looking for, ambience is what you’ll get.
The theme of “No More Heroes” is apparent from the moment you step inside. The walls are covered with pictures of some of the most iconic artists of the last century, everyone from Elton John and Madonna to the Supremes and the Beatles. Towards the back is a massive, floor-to-ceiling black and white image from Woodstock ’69 that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time and into one of the greatest music moments in history. Old stereos and vintage vinyl stacked on top of the bar add the perfect finishing touch, taking me back to a place and time before iTunes, Smartphones, and the decline of America’s record stores.
The name “No More Heroes” may sound a bit depressing and ominous but it was inspired by the song “No More Heroes” by English new wave group the Stranglers. Released in the fall of 1977, “No More Heroes” was a UK hit and reflected on the loss of great heroes, great artists, and the overall state of the world. Over 40 years later, the song’s tribute stands strong in the form of a bar that pays homage to the music legends we’ve lost and the others who remain.
With images of David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, and Prince on the walls, it came as no surprise that the music at “No More Heroes” was by far some of the best music I’ve heard in a bar in a long time. The DJ clearly got the memo and understood he could absolutely under no circumstances disappoint when it came to the music selection. (I would’ve walked out just as quickly as I walked in.) The Jacksons’ hit “I Wanna Be Where You Are” was followed by Frank Ocean’s “Monks,” “One of These Nights” by the Eagles, “Come Home” by Little Dragon, and Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Booty Ooty.” Much to the annoyance of my friends who joined me, I must’ve said “I love this song!” after pretty much every song. What’s more, the music was at just the right level where you could still hold a conversation without screaming at the person next to you. That’s a bonus in my book.
A bar with a theme is not complete unless it has a cocktail menu that fits with the overall theme. Once again, “No More Heroes” did not disappoint. Specialty cocktails included Heroes, White Satin, Afternoon Delight, Free Falling, and Linda, Linda. (I appreciated all the references, and if you’re a fellow music lover, you get it too.) They also offer an interesting assortment of beer from Abita Light and Angel City Lager to Coopers Pale Ale and Delirium Tremens Belgian Strong Ale with a solid wine list to match.
“No More Heroes” was a definite vibe. It was cool without trying, and I got the sense that everyone there appreciated the music just as much as I did. Considering that I happened to go on a Saturday night during Pride month, it was a chill environment compared to the wild times at other bars. I’ve had my fair share of drunken escapades in one of L.A.’s most energetic cities, some nights I remember and others not so much. Sometimes it’s a nice change of pace to go to a bar where you can just sit down, listen to some great music, and have a conversation with friends.
“No More Heroe”s is a bar after my own heart. It’s all about the music, and I genuinely couldn’t ask for anything more.