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Places to Keep the Party Going after You Leave Memorial Coliseum



Big days at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (like during the University of Southern California Trojan's football season, when they play their home games there) often lead to big nights of celebrating. Happily, there are plenty of nightclubs, bars and even bowling alleys nearby that cater to those in the mood to keep the party going. Most of the best nightlife venues near the Coliseum are in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, just a couple of miles from the stadium, so plan to have a designated driver or simply take a quick taxi or Metro ride there. L.A. Live near the Staples Center is a hotbed of action, boasting Lucky Strike Lanes, The Conga Room, the Nokia Theater and a number of other bars and restaurants. Something is always open there (Lucky Strike is going until at least 1:00 a.m. every night of the week); meanwhile, places like La Cita Bar offer up live music just about every night, too. On weekends the nightlife choices expand, as dance clubs like The Mayan, The Belasco Theater, the Crocker Club and The Vault open their doors and go off until 2:00 a.m. That's the mandatory closing time for bars and clubs in California, so expect last call at about 1:30 a.m., no matter where you've chosen to keep your post-Memorial Coliseum festivities going on.


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The Mayan
Photo courtesy of Jenny Peters


Built in 1927, The Mayan was originally both a live theater and a movie palace. Today, on Friday nights you'll find EDM, hip hop, Top 40 and more spun by DJs on the main floor and salsa, merengue, and other Latin beats on the mezzanine level. Saturday nights brings live Latin music on the main level and DJs spinning on the mezzanine. Other selected nights (check the website calendar for more information) you'll find live music and other shows. It's worth a trip just for the architecture, for this Historic Cultural Monument boasts striking elements including an ornately carved exterior, the famed "Hall of Feathered Serpents" in the lobby, and a chandelier based on the Mayan calendar. Admission on Friday nights is $10 all night long; Saturday from $15 to $20; and the special performances range from $15 on up, depending on the act.




Suede Bar & Lounge is the upscale club located in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, a hotspot for business executives – and party people, too. There's a busy happy hour scene here and DJs make the joint start jumping on weekends, when lines form out the door. But make sure to come to Suede dressed for success, as the doorman has discretion to say no to anyone in athletic wear (including any sort of tennis shoes), baggy or torn clothes, sandals or work boots. So get out your best party outfit to hit this nightspot; and if you're coming from a game at Memorial Coliseum (which is just a couple of miles away), it's probably best to do a quick change before heading here to dance into the wee hours.


La Cita Bar
Photo courtesy of Jenny Peters

La Cita Bar is a hole-in-the-wall bar and dance club that features live music many nights of the week, and DJ tunes the other. You'll find reggae playing one night, Southern rockabilly another, and hip hop a third. So check out their events calendar to hit this spot when your favorite dance tunes are playing and for what the cover charge is (usually only assessed when a live band is scheduled). You'll find this bar a few miles from the Memorial Coliseum – and this one is right along the L.A. Metro line, so you don't even have to drive to check it out, just hop the train when you leave the stadium. Remember to change trains when you get to the Metro Center station, however!


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Spin Standard
Photo courtesy of Jenny Peters


If some healthy competition to go along with your cocktails and finger food is your idea of fun, then run, don't walk, to Spin Standard. That's the place where ping pong is king and the play goes on all night. With 11 custom table-tennis tables that sit atop cushioned Olympic-style flooring, plus three bars and a lively atmosphere, Spin is the place to really play. Located in the Standard Hotel (and just minutes by car from the Memorial Coliseum), Spin is a hotbed of activity, open every day until 2:00 a.m. You'll also find Happy Hours, tournaments, Bingo games, singles' mixers and more here at the place where balls are always bouncing!


The Belasco Theater
Photo courtesy of Jenny Peters


The Belasco Theater has been a part of downtown L.A.'s landscape since the 1920s, an intricately designed structure that has been everything from a burlesque house to a church in its storied history. Nowadays, after a $12 million renovation, the Belasco is a nightlife venue that offers up a range of experiences, from the Main Theater, the Ballroom and the Basement Lounge, to eateries including Cafe Belasco, Grill Fresco and Vintage 10 Fifty. DJs get the dancing going on weekends and there are special shows going on constantly at this lively venue that is a quick ride from the Memorial Coliseum.


The Crocker Club
Photo courtesy of Jenny Peters


This downtown nightspot is only open three nights a week (Thursday to Saturday), but when it is going off, it is tons of fun. The Crocker Club makes its home in an old bank, so make sure to check out the section known as "The Vault." Slip inside that real vault to have a signature cocktail or choose one of the club's "chamber rooms." Those are the old cubbyholes where bank patrons used to check their safety-deposit boxes; nowadays they are cozy VIP spots where you can get bottle service and order up finger foods. Some hold two people, some hold ten; and all have easy access to the always crowded dance floor.


Lucky Strike L.A. LIve
Photo courtesy of Jenny Peters


Lucky Strike L.A. Live is more than just a bowling alley, which is made obvious by the dress code they enforce. As they explain on their website, "Since the beginning Lucky Strike has been dedicated to a unique upscale style that combines fun and hip." Which means that after 8:00 p.m., patrons should not be wearing athletic clothing, ball caps, baggy pants, etc. You can come to bowl or just chill until late – the place boasts 18 lanes, 14 big-screen TVs, billiard tables, DJs/VJs spinning tunes and even their private LUXE Lounge, which has four lanes, two billiard tables and a full-service private bar. Be sure to book that space ahead of time.


The Vault Nightclub and Lounge
Photo courtesy of Jenny Peters


What was once a bank is now The Vault Nightclub and Lounge – and yes, the bank vault is still a part of the scene. But no bank ever had this vibe, as the club boasts a state-of-the-art, fully integrated sound, light, laser and video system, which DJs use on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to get a dance party going. Snuggle into one of the white-leather booths with a bottle service and you can party the night away without a care in the world. With over 22,000 square feet of space, this is a downtown L.A. venue that has plenty of room to have a blast. And it isn't very far from the Memorial Coliseum, making it an easy club to hit after the big game on Saturday.


The Edison
Photo courtesy of Jenny Peters


The Edison is an old-school club, a place that evokes the vibe of a swank speakeasy from Prohibition days, from its almost-secret alley entrance to its self-avowed "sense of romance" which requires patrons to dress with a sense of style. Which means do not show up in "athletic wear of any kind," nor baggy or torn jeans, flip flops or other scruffy attire or you'll be turned away at the door. Men must wear collared shirts and dress shoes. Once inside, The Edison is a wonderland of sights and sounds, a sunken space that was once a power station now transformed into a seductive club. You'll find specialty cocktails (Absinthe, anyone?), fine wines and a menu ranging from snacks to full-on dinner choices. Live music, DJs and even a aerialist show are some of the entertainment; but you never know what you'll find in this fascinating place.


The Conga Room
Photo courtesy of The Conga Room


The Conga Room is a convivial place located in the heart of L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles. A fixture in the nightlife scene, the club is owned by some famous names, including Jennifer Lopez, Will.i.am of the Black-Eyed Peas, Jimmy Smits, and NBA star Baron Davis. The owners are an eclectic group, which means that the club books plenty of different musical talent, from Latino greats like Willie Colon to the hottest DJs around. And every so often, superstars like Drake, Justin Timberlake or Kendrick Lamar turn up to play. Beginning in September 2014, Power 106 radio personality Big Boy will host weekly special shows with an urban edge. And don't miss trying the Pan-Latin fare at BOCA, the restaurant incorporated into the club.


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Meet Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good...  More About Jenny

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