Early last year, a massive window was inserted into the beloved Elliott Smith mural in Silver Lake, Los Angeles to much uproar. It belonged to Bar Angeles, a trendy new spot that served pricey cocktails and personal pizzas, before hail marying to brunch culture when no one was having it with the other shit. Well, justice for fans of the melancholy songwriter, because Bar Angeles is no more. As Eater reports, the space is being reimagined as a Filipino restaurant called Ma’am Sir. So...still not great?
The mural, which was featured on Smith’s 2000 album cover for Figure 8, became something of a sacred destination for fans after his death by suicide in 2003. It was one of those rare organic monuments derived from a real slice of the singer’s history.
Bar Angeles’ closing is one of the closest instances you’ll get to a physical establishment getting ratioed, with almost universal condemnation from those who care about the singer. The thing clearly sucked, no matter how many attempts from the bar itself to preserve the mural (moving the missing chunk of wall inside) and vigorously defending their decision to effectively capitalize off a dead singer’s legacy.
Of course, the fear of flipping the place is that things could get even worse, with some new paint job covering up the mural. But the same old owners are still in control of the space, and they probably know damn well at this point not to dig themselves any deeper. Leave Smith’s legacy alone!