The Dresden

Bar / Live Music Venue / Lounge / Restaurant
The Dresden Made famous in the 90s cult classic Swingers, The Dresden is an intact 70s supper club that draws a flirtatious, fun-loving crowd of everyone from young professionals and older regulars to hipsters and campy cabaret lovers. Los Angeles United States 34.103163 -118.291425
3.72 13
The Dresden - Bar | Live Music Venue | Lounge | Restaurant in Los Angeles.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Made famous in the 90s cult classic Swingers, The Dresden is an intact 70s supper club that draws a flirtatious, fun-loving crowd of everyone from young professionals and older regulars to hipsters and campy cabaret... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    M–Sa 4:30pm–2am, Su 4:30pm–midnight

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth The Dresden Review

The Scene

Made famous in the 90s cult classic Swingers, The Dresden is an intact 70s supper club that draws a flirtatious, fun-loving crowd of everyone from young professionals and older regulars to hipsters and campy cabaret lovers.

Made famous in the 90s cult classic Swingers, The Dresden is an intact 70s supper club that draws a flirtatious, fun-loving crowd of everyone from young professionals and older regulars to hipsters and campy cabaret lovers.

With touches of classy old-school Vegas and total kitsch, and split right down the middle, the venue consists of a restaurant on one side, whose circular retro camel-backed cream booths recall its glory days, and a lounge on the other side where happily drunken patrons loll around in brown vinyl booths against a paneled wall dotted with quirky artwork.

Adding to the eclectic vibe are the weathered bartenders pouring stiff drinks for the regulars lined up at the bar and for the few irony-hunting hipsters who show up to gawk at The Dresden’s main attraction – the inimitable Marty and Elayne, an aging, partially tone deaf lounge act duo singing everything from Sinatra to “Staying Alive” with infectious verve.

The sheer fun factor of the show itself, coupled with the tightly packed cabaret tables and standing-room-only crowd, makes mingling inevitable – which only adds to the high-spirited adventure that is a night at The Dresden.

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Tip from Emma:

It can be tough to get in the front door on a Friday or Saturday night. If you’re stuck waiting outside, use the back entrance off The Dresden’s parking lot – the line is usually shorter.

  • Crowd

    An eclectic mix of young professionals, Hollywood hipsters, tourists, and old-timers, 20s to 30s with an occasional 60+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Marty and Elayne perform Tuesday through Saturday nights starting at 9pm. Sundays and Mondays feature The Drinks, a 70s singer/songwriter throwback trio.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Full dinner menu available in both the restaurant and lounge. Mainly American and Italian fare including pasta and steak dishes.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $6–$11, entrées $12+, desserts $4–$6. Beer $5+, wine $7/glass or $45/bottle, mixed drinks $8+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Girls in casual, modest dresses or jeans and heels, and guys in everything from jackets with untucked button-downs to collared shirts and jeans.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Crowds pack in for Marty and Elayne on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

  • Close By

    Fred 62 (1850 North Vermont Avenue) is practically next door and serves diner-style food twenty-four hours a day, making it an excellent post-drinking stop at the end of the night.

The Dresden User Reviews

Average rating:
CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
Matt R. Apr 5, 2013
Old school Hollywood comes alive when you step into The Dresden. For more than 60 years, The Dresden has been a staple on the L.A. social scene. Don’t let the bad paneling, awkward artwork, and furniture straight from your grandparent’s house fool you; this bar’s charm can be found in its old Hollywood soul. Sitting with your friends at one of their round booths or crowded tables will have you feeling like you’re drinking with the ghosts of Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Famous faces of past visitors line the walls, and the crowd is a crazy mix of old time regulars, Hollywood hipsters and 30-something-year-old fans just trying to live out a real life version of the movie Swingers…I know I’m one of them! The Dresden, run down and empty in maybe any other town, is jam packed almost every night as spectators from near and far come to see the main attraction: Marty and Elayne. Gaining fame through several movie appearances, this duo is truly old school. Make sure you stick around for a couple of sets as these two lounge legends will cover everything from their famous take on Stayin Alive to pop hits of today. Sure, their voices won’t win any Grammy Awards, but Marty and Elayne are a couple of talented old-timers that love to entertain, flirt with the crowd and keep the place jumping! This classic old Hollywood hangout, is a bar you have to check out whether you are passing through for a visit or looking for a great night out with a group of friends. If you want to feel like you’ve been transported to the world of 1960’s Vegas, silver screen legends of yesterday and the Rat Pack, and have a few drinks in the process, you found the place! Just be sure to tell them Mikey from the Ha-Ha Hole sent you!
Marty and Elayne. Period.
Chris K. Nov 16, 2012
"Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl--" "SHE WAS A HOOKER!" This is how "Copa Cabana" goes when Marty and Elayne, the warbly and questionably-brilliant duo of seniors who rule the Dresden, play it. This classy old-timey night spot has everything you want out of a bar of its kind--huge round-table seats, an easily-managed back entrance, framed photos of its previous patrons lining the walls, a well-stocked bar, and yes, Marty and Elayne. Apparently, Swingers has a famous scene in this bar--never seen it--but more importantly, now my life does. I'm going to come here every time I'm in LA, no excuses. Play it again, Marty--you played it for her, now play it for me.
Classy
Angelica A. Nov 13, 2012
This place has a very upscale vibe but draws a very interesting crowd. It's interior is much like what you'd imagine a 70s era lounge set for a James Bond film. The kind of place you'd expect people to be wearing fur and diamonds, however the crowd here is not quite so posh. The place is usually packed with older regulars and curious young bar hoppers. The last time i was there I saw at least 2 older gentleman in cowboy hats sitting at the bar besides your everyday hipsters. The bar is staffed by knowledgeable mixologists, people who aren't afraid of making real drinks rather than just vodka mixers. My friend got a Campari cocktail last time we went and has since been turned on to the drink. although I personally can't understand why (can't stand the stuff). But either way this is where you go to be get a little old school. Also a favorite touch of mine is the live piano covers by the bar owners, an older married couple, who actually aren't half bad.
Old but not forgotten
Anna-Vera D. Nov 8, 2012
This Old Hollywood supper club delivers, takes a swing, and delivers again. Everyone from hipsters to industry professionals and the occasional tourist wanders in, sits back, and orders an Old Fashioned. If you’re not a smoker, you may even nab a seat by the piano during a song break while the crowd shifts outside. The menu is vast and satisfies, combining with the décor and ‘70’s cabaret shtick to swaddle its patrons in a shrimp cocktail-eating, white leathered, wide-collared dream. With a hostess pre-empting your every request, drinks are ordered and served with a smooth, dignified attention, mixed by bar tenders who can tell bottles apart by touch. Drinking here feels like being in the audience of an elaborate theatrical show. The music is loud enough to enjoy, but soft enough to talk over. Just make sure you tip Marty and Elayne.
Cool Spot but Not For Me
Sara G. Oct 16, 2012
I'm into the Dresden - I really am. I love the LA history, it's really fun, etc etc. However, it's just not a place I'd ever frequent. Every time I've gone the lighting as been a bit harsh, and while it's kitschy and fun - especially for a first date - I've just never had the most amazing time. A bit too cool for me, a bit too hipster. And the place just feels old. (Yes, I get that it's part of the appeal, but just not for me!) I'd much rather continue up Vermont and make my way to Bigfoot Lodge and/or Fred62. But, The Dresden is a place that everyone should experience at least once.
You're So Money, And You Don't Even Know It.
Ben S. Oct 4, 2012
The Dresden is simply a great hang. Yes, the best reason to visit is Marty and Elayne, in all their kitschy glory. Yes, they're going to attract hipster-types, and 30 somethings who grew up on Swingers. But that's because a night at the Dresden is about the most prototypical 'LA experience' that one can have. Most nights it's packed and loud, but that somehow seems to add to its charm instead of annoy. The Dresden is best when you go with a small group. The bar definitely shines in the spirits department, but not much else. The table service is not too shabby, considering how packed it usually is, so try to grab a table. And in this rare case, there's nothing wrong with sitting close to the band. So get cozy, and don't you dare leave until they play 'Stayin' Alive'! There's no wrong reason to find yourself at the Dresden, but if classic LA ambiance is your aim, look no further.
Marty and Elayne
Victor H. Sep 27, 2012
They should change the name of this place to Marty and Elayne since this is why everyone comes to the Dresden. These amazing duo in their late 70's? entertain the crowd all night with their great tunes. You've probably seen them in the movie Swingers or even more recently on a TV show called Storage Wars (yes I watch that show). Aside from the great music playing all night you definitely get a very loud and alive feeling at this place with something different going on in every area of the place. There's tables and chairs on one half of the place and a bar on the other half and a very narrow walkway in between that gets narrower and narrower as people get crammed inside. The crowd is for the mostly on the 30+ side with a few 20 year old here and there. Although there's a lot of energy going on and some old folks playing some live music this is not a party/dance atmosphere but you'll still have a descent time if you and your friends are looking for a lively place to hang out, talk and have drinks.
Cool for a certain crowd of people
Nick T. Sep 12, 2012
I wouldn't call it a go-to place for most people, but it is a different kind of experience that is worth checking out. On one side is the bar with the live music that - like Paul said - is not the best but puts you back into the era where lounge singers were the norm. The restaurant side of the Dresden is very cool with its unique and rather ornate decor - both with booths and tables. Random note - I had a Thanksgiving dinner here once - don't know why we decided to do this - but I would not recommend it. Not the best food in general, and as far as a Thanksgiving meal goes its not even close to satisfying. Also, the Dresden is an obvious must for Swingers lovers - walking in the door immediately puts you back into the movie.
An LA Staple
Paul F. Aug 12, 2012
I've spent many a night at the Dresden during my time in Los Angeles. I was first introduced through the movie Swingers, and when I eventually moved to LA, I had to experience the spot for myself. When you enter (either through the front or the back - the back always has less of a line), you find a dingy 70s style spot with ancient bartenders and a crowd of 20 and 30 something Silver Lake hipsters. The reason you come is for the painfully bad lounge singers Marty and Elaine - though being bad is what makes it fun to watch. Cool place for a random date. Also a good place for a small group. Drink prices are usually under $10 and they have booth and table seating for watching the live music. Always a fun night and amicable crowds.
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