Photo by Andy Willsher/Redferns via Getty Images

Miss Misery, indeed

Kate Welsh
April 21, 2017

Known for his whispery, intimate vocal style and poetic lyrics, Elliott Smith became well known when his song "Miss Misery" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song after appearing on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack in 1998. Immensely talented, Smith also suffered from both depression and substance abuse issues. These issues have been linked to his death in Los Angeles in 2003 from two stab wounds to the chest. He was only 34. 

What does this immensely sad story have to do with brunch? you may ask. Great question. It should have absolutely nothing to do with brunch. But alas, here we are. LAist reported that, in February, an Elliott Smith-themed bar opened up in the Silver Lake neighborhood of LA. What made it "Elliott Smith-themed?" For starters, the bar is right where the mural that served as the album art for his record Figure 8 is. Or was, rather: The owners ruffled Smith fans' feathers when they removed a large chunk of the wall to install a giant window for the bar. (The wall they removed is now serving as art within the space.) Secondly, the name of the bar is "Bar Angeles," a nod to Smith's song "Angeles." 

Starting this weekend, this Elliott Smith-themed bar will be serving an Elliott Smith-themed brunch. Sort of. In a press release, Bar Angeles' owners explained "this neighborhood gastropub is inspired by the vibrancy of the musicians, artists, and misfits who enrich the neighborhood of Silverlake [sic]." 

Our door is open at 5:30, come on in✌🏾️🍕🍔💫cool pic by @jbrylah

A post shared by Bar Angeles (@barangelesla) on

OK, so they may not be serving up "Sweet Adeline" French toast, or "Say Yes" bloody marys, or "Son of Sam" eggs and ham. But they do seem to be capitalizing on the story of a beloved musician's tragic death. And that doesn't leave a great taste in my mouth. 


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