Barney’s Beanery

Posted by junketseo in Los Angeles Ghost Tours
Barney’s Beanery - Photo

People come to Los Angeles looking to find their favorite celebrities. It doesn’t take much, really: you can find them at the grocery store, the park, the movie theater…L.A. is just swarming with stardom. But some spots are better than others and we are here to let you in on a little secret. Next time you’re on the lookout in West Hollywood, consider visiting Barney’s Beanery at nighttime. Don’t bother looking at the tables next to you. The real celebrities can be found walking around the rooftop, except they’ve been long dead –– according to urban legends and dozens of spooked witnesses, the ghost of rock singer Janis Joplin is believed to roam the roof of this classic gastropub. Her ghost is not the only one that has been camping out at the restaurant…

And if you want to experience the infamous hauntings of Los Angeles for yourself, why not join us for a hauntingly fun (and historically accurate) ghost tour?

West Coast Ghosts

When people think of California, they imagine clear skies and warm beaches. They think of road trips by the coastline and ice cream sandwiches melting by the second. They don’t think of scary ghosts and haunted houses –– the Golden State surely must be immune to such horrors. The reality could not be farther from the truth. Turns out that California is just as cursed as hell itself, and Los Angeles is no exception. The City of Angels becomes the City of Demons as soon as the sun sets, and sometimes even earlier…

If you’re in the L.A. area, we recommend a visit to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Since opening its doors almost 100 years ago, the 12-story building has welcomed some of the biggest celebrities in the world –– and some haven’t checked out yet. Rumor has it that the troubled ghosts of Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, and other household names haunt this quintessential SoCal location. But it’s not just  A-listers. Ghosts of regular people also roam the halls, as starstruck as any other L.A. visitor.

History of Barney’s Beanery

Barney’s has always been a place for rebels. Located off Route 66 in WeHo, this All-American restaurant built a reputation as a place where the beatnik generation could hang out and just let their hair down. It attracted a wacky crowd that included people in the entertainment industry and everyone else who just wanted to spend time at a watering hole. A place where bros could be bros.

The food joint opened its doors at its current location in 1927 under the leadership of its original owner,  Barney Anthony. Pretty much every struggling writer and artist in the city knew him at some point or another –– he was always giving them food and petty cash to help them get by. In fact, the Beanery was born out of that very same paternal instinct. When Barney enlisted in the Navy to fight in World War I, he made his famous chili burgers for his fellow soldiers, and the idea to open a restaurant was born.

Barney’s Beanery quickly became a counterculture hotspot. People like Charles Bukowski, the Doors, and other funny characters frequented the location. Jim Morrison once climbed on the bar and famously urinated on it, a spot that has since been marked by a commemorative plaque visitors look at in amazement. But it wasn’t all just wild types, though. Even normies like Marlo Brando came here in search of a good time –– and boy did they find it.

Hauntings at Barney’s Beanery

Is it any surprise a place with all that ruckus would end up with quite a few ghosts? We don’t think so, and people who work there agree. They are actually so used to all the unexplained stuff that goes down that they barely bat an eye. At this point, running into a ghost there is just part of the job.

One of the things many employees and patrons have witnessed over the years is a mysterious figure who walks around the roof. The figure wears a white shirt and usually comes out after 2:00 am when workers are just wrapping up. Some believe this is the ghost of Janis Joplin, the rock singer from the 1970s who stopped at Barney’s for drinks the night she died of a drug overdose. Or who knows? It might even be Morrison’s ghost coming back to pee on the bar again.

And that’s not all. A former cook once saw two young kids with long teeth and fingernails running around the kitchen late at night. As if that wasn’t scary enough, the knives on the walls were spinning by themselves. Other employees have also experienced weird things in the basement and walk-in fridges, including seeing figures walk by before disappearing and hearing sounds of someone dragging the beer kegs.

Do Ghosts like Beer?

The ghosts at Barney’s Beanery seem to have a thing for beer. Restaurant employees have experienced more than just hearing someone drag beer kegs. Some of them have seen kegs wobbling downstairs and, in particularly weird situations, off-white figures dash away from the scene the second they are caught.

Upstairs, the bar is no different. Sometimes the beer system malfunctions as if someone were turning off the levers. It’s hard to say why the ghosts there are so fixated on the beer. Are they trying to hoard it for themselves or are they keeping others from drinking because they are against it?

And who are these beer-obsessed ghosts anyway? That’s also hard to say. It is well known that several murders have taken place at Barney’s Beanery over the years –– including two brutal stabbings and one gruesome shooting. Because we’re in L.A., it’s worth considering that maybe the ghosts are on a beer-free diet.

Facts about Barney’s Beanery

A place as fun as Barney’s Beanery is full of interesting facts. We summarize some of our favorite findings in the following section.

  • Barney’s Beanery came to WeHo in 1920 before moving to its current location nearby a few years later, but its origins trace back to NorCal when Barney opened a small food joint in Berkeley.
  • The place specializes in serving American comfort food –– waffles, onion soup, and, o course, their famous chili.
  • Quentin Tarantino used to work for hours at a time sitting at one of Barney’s booths.
  • The Blasters, Janes Addiction, and Red Hot Chili Peppers are among the many performers who made a stop at Barney’s Beanery.
  • Today, many people frequent the place for trivia and karaoke night, as well as just your regular drinking with friends.

In Short

If you like your beers cold, your burgers medium-rare, and a slight spook on the side, come to Barney’s Beanery. The place has been serving the Los Angeles area for decades, amassing a large number of loyal fans that have included some of the biggest celebrities of their time. And don’t be freaked out if you see a white figure on the roof –– that’s a friendly ghost that likes to hang out up there.