Reviewed by Jeff Walker

My Bar Standard – Busby’s (Santa Monica)

Visited: Thursday, February 14th, 2008
Location: 1519 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403 (map) (link)

This sophisticated Santa Monica sports bar lacks a dance floor and any tangible excitement, but attracts a quality crowd looking to meet up, chat and have a good time.

Deeper Insights:

Valentine’s Day night isn’t exactly the best barometer of a bar’s typical night, but thankfully The Parlor wasn’t teeming with overly creepy guys and sad, desperate women. While fearless guys tested their latest pick-up lines, the girls were receptive or polite in their reactions and rejections. The upscale, yet easygoing atmosphere at The Parlor is refreshing (especially given the roots of its owners – several former Real World cast members), but the lack of overall excitement makes this less of a target in the world of the Westside nightlife.

The place itself is surprisingly spacious, and if you don’t blink while entering, there’s a stairway leading up to a small second floor with a separate bar and patio. The sunken center section would seem to be a perfect place for a dance floor, but at least on this night, there was none. Therein lies the biggest issue with The Parlor. It is a large place with lots of TVs, making it a perfect place to watch a game. The sleek setting hints at a hopping lounge or laid-back dance club, but the entertainment isn’t there to back it up. This is a great place to hang out and chat up an attractive crowd, but those looking for an adrenaline rush would best look elsewhere.


Attire: Collared shirts, blazer, nice jeans, slacks.

Attitude: Late 20-somethings who have their careers on track and are looking for some lovin’.

Bar/Bartenders: 1 bar on each of the two levels. 3-4 bartenders for each bar. Mix of guys and girls. 3-5 minute wait on drinks.

Bathrooms: Bathrooms on first floor.

Bathroom Attendant: Yes, and he’s a very fun and friendly fellow.

Bottle Service: No

Cover: None on Thursdays

Crowd: Successful late 20-somethings looking to add a little love and company into their lives. 65/35 guys to girls ratio.

Dance Floor: Technically none, but some swaying hips on the second level.

Décor: Upscale sports bar with multiple flat screen TVs.

Drinks: $5 for Miller Lite, $9 for 7 and 7

Extras: Electronic trivia

Happy Hour: $3 beers, $4 well drinks, and $5 house wines - 4 pm – 8 pm everyday.

Hours: 11:30 am – 2 am.

Line: None after 10 pm on a Thursday night.

Music: The usual - hip-hop with brief stretches of popular Old School, rock and techno. A pianist that plays dirty song parodies performs on Sunday nights.

Parking: Street parking

People Watching: Good-looking crowd of successful and friendly guys and girls.

Seating: Bar stools, plush couches tucked away in one corner, lots of booths and tables

Smoking: Patio on second level

Water (Free): Yes

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