Working from an office can be nice. You shoot baskets on the tiny net by your desk, and get comfortable saying things like “let’s circle back on this” when you walk out of meetings.
But working remotely is also pretty great. You can sleep until 8:59 and still be at work on time. You also can drink wine while you attempt to get through all 703 emails in your inbox. But your usual coffee shop doesn’t serve alcohol, and if you stay at home, you’ll just end up watching three seasons of Property Brothers. So you should try one of these bars. They’ll have enough space for you and your six-year-old laptop, wifi that’s strong enough to support your instant messenger, and enough alcohol to help you get through those data tables. Here’s our guide to the best bars where you can also do work.
Not to be confused with the desperate actor-filled Weho location, Zinque in Venice is a low-key spot on Abbot Kinney with decent food and a surprising lack of tourists (maybe they’re afraid to cross Venice Blvd.). It’s big, so you can sit at a high-top all day with your sprawled out architecture blueprints for your very-theoretical dream house on the Venice Canals. Alternate between cups of coffee and glasses of rosé while you decide if your roof deck should be on the second or third floor.
Tabula Rasa is a cool and unpretentious wine bar in Thai Town, with plenty of tables and a small patio out back. If you don’t know which varietal pairs best with the script coverage you’re writing for your boss, the bartenders will help you out. They have bar snacks, and La Morra pops up there every Thursday.
Playa Provisions is a big space with two patios where talking on the phone won’t bother anyone. There’s a solid food menu if you get hungry while you file expenses, and a great whiskey list for when you get bored two items in. You’re also right by the beach, so you can alternate between sending emails and staring at the dunes.
This is really just a retail shop that happens to have a bunch of bar seats, an excellent patio and one of the best beer selections in LA. They’re all from Stone Brewing and many of them are only available at this location. Since people are mostly here to fill growlers or buy IPA-scented candles, it’s always super low-key, and a very pleasant place to get work done.
The Semi Tropic is the Swiss Army knife of bars. It’s good for a lot of different situations, from brunch and date night to birthdays and writing on a couch with a glass of wine. On weekdays this Echo Park spot is filled with people writing/taking advantage of the daytime Happy Hour (it runs from 9am to 5pm). But despite the day drinking, everyone here seems to be accomplishing big things, even if it’s just giving in and buying Final Draft instead of making up another new email address for the free trial.
Bodega is a huge space in Santa Monica that’s lively enough during the day so that you won’t get dirty looks for coughing, but calm enough that you won’t get distracted from being productive. They open at 8am (which is basically sunrise for people from LA) so they’ll be ready for you with a glass of wine (or a cup of coffee) whenever you decide work starts. Note that they’ll probably ask you to pack up your laptop around 5pm, depending on how busy they are.
Sunset Beer feels like a tiny, dark public library with the main differences being that nothing is organized by the Dewey Decimal System and you won’t get arrested for drinking a high-ABV stout here. You can procrastinate by making your way through their massive selection of beers by the bottle until you find the exact one that will help you hit that Thursday deadline.
Maybe you think only a masochist would try to get work done at Barney’s Beanery, but the Redondo location on the pier is a little different. They open at 11am, and don’t get busy until dinner, so at least you can stare at the ocean instead of the sad blank wall next to your desk as you type and delete the same line over and over again. Also, the nachos are objectively good.
Melrose Umbrella Co. is quiet and bright during the daytime, and there are plenty of tables where you’ll have space for your reading/writing/scrapbooking. This bar has all kinds of excellent cocktails available during Happy Hour, which goes from noon until 7pm, along with an all-day menu to help keep your sentences sensical after your third Moscow Mule.
You’ve been working on the same sketch for a week and it’s not getting anywhere. For inspiration, head to Jay’s Bar. It’s dark, divey, and Oscar-nominated comedians are probably having beers here and somehow no one will notice. Aside from all that, Jay’s is usually quiet enough that you’ll be able to focus and write some things you don’t hate for once.