A reimagined dive raises the bar for Hollywood hot spots.
“Drink, sleep, record” is the concept at Gold Diggers, a hotel hybrid that melds a stylish inn with a dive bar downstairs and state-of-the-art recording studios out back. “The idea here is to create a kind of music campus that’s a very curated, very sonic experience,” says well-known DJ and radio host Justin Gage, 40, co-owner of the Hollywood complex. “Gold Diggers offers the chance for that perfect storm, for an artist to record here, stay here and even try out new material for a small audience in the bar,” he adds. Along with nightclub and hotel impresario Dave Neupert, Gage transformed the seedy bar into a hipster-beckoning 11-room boutique hotel. While the bar keeps just enough of its down-and-divey-roots (even if its original stripper pole has been removed), the adjacent recording studio offers a total transformation of what was originally low-budget filmmaker Ed Wood’s sound stage. In all areas of the campus, Gage and Neupert have carried the musical theme to the tiniest detail: “Instead of having a mint on your pillow, there’s a vinyl record that I produce once a quarter. You can only get it if you stay here, and it’s a limited run of 500,” says Gage, who also selected the vinyl in the bar below. “During happy hour, the bartenders can pull from albums that I’ve selected— they’re basically DJs at that point.” Multitasker extraordinaire, Gage hosts a Talk Show event in the bar as well, interviewing a variety of music, film and fine artists. “We wanted a place that was inclusive yet curated, something truly for musicheads,” he says. Of the A-list variety, of course. 5632 Santa Monica Blvd., 323-848-4737, gold-diggers.com
Justin Gage, Gold Diggers’ mastermind, opened an establishment for musicians and creatives of all kinds that reinvents the concept of nightspot.
Photography by: INTERIOR PHOTOS BY LAETITIA WAJNAPEL