Barney's Beanery is a famous restaurant and bar located in West Hollywood, California. It was founded by John "Barney" Anthony in 1920 along Route 66, now Santa Monica Boulevard, State Route 2, that connects Hollywood and the beach. From the beginning it became a regular stopping point for people from all walks of life, including artists, writers, and other celebrities. Old Hollywood actors like Clara Bow, John Barrymore, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Judy Garland, and Lou Costello were regulars in their days. During Prohibition unincorporated West Hollywood was relatively wet. By the 1960s the neighboring Sunset Strip had become an important music center and Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin became regulars. Poet Charles Bukowski lurked around, as did artists Ed Kienholz and Ed Ruscha. Kienholz even created a sculpture piece that he titled "The Beanery" and unveiled in the restaurant parking lot.
Sometime in the 1940s a sign appeared among the clutter of the wall that said "FAGOTS – STAY OUT" [sic]. It was so offensive to local homosexuals that Life magazine did an article on opposition to the sign in 1964, which included a photograph of the owner steadfastly holding on to it. The owner died in 1968, and efforts continued to have the sign removed. The Gay Liberation Front organized a picket of the restaurant on February 7 1970 to push for its removal. It came down quietly for the first time in the 1970s, although it would be put back up and taken down on several occasions before disappearing for good in the 1980s.
The restaurant is now owned by the Q's Billiard Club, which opened another Barney's Beanery location on the Santa Monica Promenade. Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday nights feature karaoke.
Barney's Beanery is now operating its third location. What was once Q's Billiards at 99 East Colorado Blvd. in Old Pasadena is now a Barney's Beanery. There are vestiges of Q's still around since the upstairs of the building still offers pool tables for its clientele.
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