Much like the Whisky-A-Go-Go and Roxy, the Rainbow Bar & Grill (also known as the Rainbow) has played an instrumental role in rock music history on the Sunset Strip. In the 1970s, icons like Elton John, Neil Diamond, and John Lennon hung out there, as the rise of heavy metal music in the 80s saw members of Guns N' Roses and Poison making the Rainbow one of their go-to haunts. Even Elvis Presley was an occasional visitor. Today, the Rainbow Bar & Grill still operates as both a bar and restaurant, serving moderately priced Italian and American fare. There's also an upstairs music and dance club called Over the Rainbow that features live rock music most nights of the week. So if you plan on visiting any time soon, here's everything you'll need to know.
Where is the Rainbow Bar & Grill located?
The Rainbow Bar & Grill is located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Its official address is 9015 W. Sunset Blvd., 90069.
How do I get there by public transportation?
Since it's located on the Sunset Strip, the Rainbow is easy to get to if you plan on taking public transportation. Your best option is to take Metro Bus Lines #2 and 217. Both lines will take you right in front of the Rainbow Bar & Grill, and stop every 15 to 30 minutes. For a quicker ride, take Metro Rapid Line #780. It stops every 15 minutes. For a full listing of other available bus routes, visit www.metro.net.
How do I get there by car?
Those coming from West Hollywood or Hollywood will just need to head west on Sunset Boulevard. Pretty simple.
If you're coming from South Bay and the beach cities, take the 405 North and get off at Exit 55A toward Santa Monica Boulevard. Make a right onto Santa Monica Boulevard and drive for about four miles until you reach North Doheny Drive. Turn left on North Doheny Drive, drive for a little over a half a mile, and then make another right when you hit Sunset Boulevard. The Rainbow will be on your left.
Those traveling from Pasadena need to take the 110 South to the 101 North, then get off at Exit 8A for Sunset Boulevard. Turn right on Sunset and drive for about four and a half miles. The Rainbow Bar & Grill will be on your right.
If you're coming from the San Fernando Valley, take the 101 South and get off at the Highland Avenue Exit. Continue onto Highland, and then make a right at Sunset Boulevard. Drive for three miles and the Rainbow will be on your right.
Those coming from Orange County should take the 5 North to the 101 North. From there you'll want to get off at the Sunset Boulevard Exit and make a right. Drive for four and a half miles and the Rainbow will be on your right.
What's the parking like if I drive?
The Rainbow does have valet service available, but it tends to be slow and very pricey. So you're better off either parking on the street, or at any one of the lots in the area. There is a parking lot located right across the street at 9000 Sunset Blvd. If you do plan on parking there, it should cost no more than $5 to $10 for the night. For a map of all the other available parking lots located on the Sunset Strip, visit http://thesunsetstrip.com/info/parking.
What type of food do they serve?
The restaurant serves mostly Italian food, like pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, and much more. Compared to other restaurants in the area, prices are pretty reasonable, meaning you shouldn't pay more than $20 for dinner. The Rainbow has its full lunch and dinner available on its website.
What's the scene like inside?
The Rainbow Bar & Grill is kind of like three separate places in one. The downstairs area is an old school restaurant, complete with red vinyl booths, potted plants, and lots of photographs – kind of like what you'd expect from a mom and pop Italian restaurant. It's also a dive bar. The walls of the dive bar section are loaded with photographs of rock stars. It also includes an outdoor patio with plastic furniture to sit on (how dive-y is that?!). Then once you walk upstairs to the Over the Rainbow section, it becomes an intimate venue featuring live rock music most nights of the week. Over the Rainbow has also been known to host DJs, as well as an open mic night.
Where can I learn more about the Rainbow Bar & Grill?