West Hollywood is only 1.9 square miles, but what it lacks in size, it makes up in style. Hoffy Tours embarked of its first every WeHo Tour and, wow, did it rock! We made mojitos at the world-famous bar The Abbey, walked to PUMP Restaurant to mix martinis, enjoyed a wonderful bus tour of WeHo, and ended at Hamburger Mary's for Drag Queen Bingo.
|Mikey Koffman (on right), CEO of Endless Road Entertainment, designed a wonderful tour! Brandon Liberati, one of the
two celebrity hosts, is pictured second from left. My lovely daughter Marissa is on the left.
Although West Hollywood had always interested me, I didn't have the connections to pull off a great tour - that is, until I met Mikey Koffman. Mikey, who owns her own media company ( Endless Road Entertainment
), had just that. She arranged four wonderful stops to give our group of 38 folks the best of West Hollywood. Most importantly, Mikey arranged two celebrity hosts for the tour - Brandon Liberati and Craig Ramsay. Brandon is a celebrity hairdresser and Craig is a fitness expert. Among their distinctions is that they were the first legally-married gay couple on national TV and the first gay couple on BRAVO's show - Newlyweds: The First Year
. Most importantly, both gentlemen were excellent hosts - eager to meet my group and share their experiences in West Hollywood.
|Craig Ramsay (left) and Brandon Liberati helped make the tour a huge success. Their friendliness, stories and West
Hollywood bus tour were spot on.
First Stop - The Abbey: Our first stop was at the world famous The Abbey. Known as LA's most famous gay bar and one of the largest cash bars in the nation, The Abbey didn't disappoint. One of the friendly bartenders taught the group how to make the Abbey Mojito. This huge venue has several stages and dance floors and was wall-to-wall patrons by 4 PM. The exotic dancers were definitely a hit with my mostly female tour group. The Abbey is quite literally a scene.
|Relaxing at The Abbey before the exotic dancers took the stage!
Second Stop - PUMP Restaurant: Right around the corner from The Abbey on Santa Monica Boulevard is the very popular PUMP Restaurant, owned by Lisa Vanderpump - restauranteur and reality-show star of Bravo Network's Vanderpump Rules. It's quite a beautiful restaurant with several bars and an alfresco dining area shaded with 100-year old olive trees. Wonderful Mikey arranged a martini lesson for the group here where we mixed the famous PUMP & GLORY martini. My groups loved the beautiful ambience and the signature drink - muddled mint, limes, and cucumbers with simple syrup and plenty of vodka garnished with a sprinkle of red pepper. Perhaps we liked the drink a little too much!
|Marissa gets a lesson making the PUMP & GLORY Martini. The cucumber and cucumber
gives the drink a delightful flavor.
|PUMP Restaurant was a group favorite as was this photo op!
|Never too late to teach an old Hoffdog a new trick. In this case, a muddling lesson
Third Stop: Drag Queen Bingo - Hamburger Mary's
One of the top attractions in West Hollywood and nestled right in the center of town on Santa Monica Boulevard, Hamburger Mary's provided lots of laughs. Their bawdy bingo game is hilarious, and several folks in our group won prizes! Don't go for the food - go for the laughs!
|Drag Queen Bingo was super fun! Watch out though. Declaring a
fasle Bingo resulted in spanking!!!
West Hollywood Tour: The small city of West Hollywood casts a big shadow in the design, entertainment and architectural world. For many years, the city (now known as WeHo) was located in an unincorporated part of the county and could avoid the stricter regulations about gambling and entertainment enforced by the City of LA. Night clubs blossomed, the Sunset Strip became a scene and the design industry grew. However, residents and business decided that becoming an incorporated city and thereby having local control would be the best way forward.
In 1984, West Hollywood became an incorporated city. The decision was brilliant! WeHo has thrived as one of the best run cities in the county. Streetscape improvements along Santa Monica Boulevard resulted in the City being named one of the most walkable in the US with a score of 91! So close to beautiful stores, nightclubs, vintage architecture and West LA's many cultural attractions, I regard West Hollywood as a design mecca in the greater LA area. Check it out on my next WeHo Tour!
|West Hollywood and neighboring Beverly Hills are among the best places to live in the LA area:
convenient, clean and responsive local government.
|The installation of the Rainbow Crosswalk brands the City of West Hollywood as a place
of LGBT Pride.
|WeHo's Pacific Design Center, begun with the Blue Whale in 1975, was completed with the Center
oRed (pictured above) in 2013.
Few cities of this size have so much to offer in terms of design, architecture, entertainment and walkability! Way to go, WeHo! Can't wait to do another tour!