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Hello Enthusiasts –

In case you’ve been under a rock, Halloween is this weekend – and it’s on a Saturday which, if you haven’t figured this out, will only happen once every seven years (although I think maybe Leap Year means it actually happens once every six years, but I’m not sure. But I digress). Which means all day to get into your costume, and all day Sunday to sleep it off.

Now, you may already have your plans all figured out. But you may not. Maybe you and your friends are doing the proverbial “what do you want to do?”/”I don’t know, what do you want to do?” dance. West Hollywood is fun, but HUGE and crazy and parking is a nightmare and people get pretty freaky. And lots of places have Halloween parties and specials, but how do you know if it will really be any good?

Which is why you should consider spending your Halloween Downtown! There will be people walking around in costume, and there’s lots going on, so if one bar or party doesn’t suit your taste, just wander to the next one. The great thing about the resurgence of Downtown is that it’s become a walking/”crawling” destination – you don’t have to pick one place and hope it works out. And it’s literally the only place in LA that can say that. Sure, there are stretches of Ventura Blvd., or Abbott Kinney, or Wilshire that have a number of places along them, but Downtown is the only place that feels like you’re in the City, not like you’re walking along a stretch of sidewalk with cars whizzing by. Plus, there will be plenty of cabs around, and places will be crowded but generally more manageable.

And your loyal Enthusiast is here to help. Here are just a few ideas for where to spend your night (for a more complete listing of the bars Downtown, most of which will have SOMEthing going on, click here for my prior post):

The Edison (2nd and Main) is a great place for Halloween. The decor seems Halloween-appropriate all year ’round, so they’re just playing to their strengths. They’ll have entertainment, and lots of creative costumes, and it’ll seem like a grand space. It’s a little on the “Halloween-y” side – some people really get into their costumes here – but you’ll get the whole experience. Click here for details.

Elevate (Wilshire between Fig & Flower) is putting on a Masquerade Ball. Elevate usually has more of a club vibe. Honestly, on your average weekend night they are more likely to attract bridge-and-tunnelers, but this is being put on by a separate promoter so the crowd could be different. And if you like masquerades, this is your place. Here for details.

St. Vibiana’s Cathedral (Main between 2nd and 3rd) is the site for Pandora, a one-time-only Halloween bash. Admit it – you’ve always wanted to go to a haunted cathedral. And if the pictures are anywhere near accurate, this is going to be some bash – plus, $75 gets you an open bar all night. Details here.

A place called Church (606 E. 6th, one block EAST of San Pedro) is putting on the Downtown Halloween Heat Party. This one looks like it’s going to focus more on house music, and it’s in a “pop up” private party space – sort of like the raves of old. I don’t imagine too many of you Enthusiasts are down with this one, so why do I include it? Because it includes an appearance by Jody Watley, with full band! So you can stand there waiting for her to sing Looking for a New Love. Details.

But I can read your mind by now: you’re saying “yeah, but I don’t always like the whole ‘big party’ scene. I just want a place to dress up and have some fun.” Well, I have an answer for that, too: Seven Grand. (7th, between Grand and Olive). They’re just going to have a DJ, their usual good drinks, their awesome bartenders (dressed up, natch), and a great crowd. You can click on their website here if you want, but it doesn’t say anything about Halloween – which shows you that it’s going to be low key but good fun.

What if none of these look like your cup of tea? What if you decide to hit one of these parties and it ends up being a bust? That’s what’s great about Downtown – so what? Just wander somewhere else. You’ll be out a few shekels, but hey, it’s Halloween. You spent more than that on your costume – might as well make sure it gets its share of use. I’m sure Cole’s and the Association and the Varnish and the Crocker Club and Bottega Louie and Remedy and anywhere at LA Live and any of the others will have fun festivities as well. (again, click here for my compendium of downtown bars, with addresses and all that.)

So I hope to see you wandering around Downtown for a fun (and safe) Halloween, and happy travels.