PRL Euro Cafe in Hollywood: Curious Beers and Curious-er Patrons
Night Watch is a regularly-occurring feature about bars and clubs, written by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.
This week, I bar-hopped in Hollywood and stumbled into the PRL Euro Café (1904 A Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood. Call 954-980-8945 or visit prlcafe.com). PRL is a narrow venue with a few chairs at the front and a long bar extending along the right wall. I had to tit-punch and bow just to get through the sardine-packed bohemian crowd clustered around the bar and leaning against the walls.
Speaking of which, the brightly colored walls--tangerine and red--were smattered with eclectic artwork. One wall featured brightly-colored photos of naked Barbie dolls arranged in highly artistic (read: sexually explicit) positions. The other was composed of spray-paint style portraits of sexy rock icons, including Jimi Hendrix.
Jay, the Polish owner, was tall, ultra-cool, and spoke with a thick accent. He explained to me that PRL is the "sexy Communist name for Poland," and that the bar boasts a shitload of tasty beers from all over the world (Scotland to Spain, Brazil to Bulgaria).
He also explained that the spray paint portraits and naked Barbie photos were part of the first Friday art show. I pointed to a giant bird cage with several naked Barbie dolls inside. "Is that part of the art show too?"
"No, that's mine," Jay said, offering no explanation. I didn't question that at all and repressed my urge to set the dolls free.
As I pushed past leather jacket-clad hippie kids, I studied some of the Barbie doll photos. A photo of a contorted Barbie doll in a cage was titled "Jailbait Barbie." I eyed the price and must have smiled, because a square-jawed gent in glasses interrupted me.
"You're not going to buy that crap, are you?"
"No--as much as I like Bondage Barbie, it doesn't fit my home décor." I said.
Then, before he had a chance to get away: "What brings you here tonight?"
"I just come here for the beer," the guy said. He admitted to being a long-time regular--confirmed when Jay saw me talking to him and rolled his eyes.
"Plus it's the only bar around here that's not Latin or white trash." "This place is mostly wannabe hippies," he continued.
"Are you a wannabe hippie?" I asked him.
"Sort of--not really," He considered, then shrugged. "I'm a doctor."
"What?" And my mother said I'd never meet a nice doctor if I kept hanging out in bars.
"A gynecologist," he said matter-of-factly. "People say, 'Oh, you have the best job ever.'"
"Most people only go to the gyno when something's horribly wrong down there." I said.
"Exactly!" the gyno shouted. "Plus, I'm gay, so being up to my elbows in vagina isn't necessarily fun. Do you even know what kind of action 80-year-old women are getting these days? Thanks, Viagra."