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The Airliner ~ 2419 N. Broadway Lincoln Heights, CA 90031 ~ (323) 221-0771

(Located between Daly St and Avenue 24 on the north side of Broadway)

Getting lost in and around Lincoln Heights on my way to The Airliner is all part of the fun for me. Driving confusedly up and down Pasadena Blvd, from Avenues 21 to 28, on the phone with friends and friends' boyfriends to announce that I have no idea where I am, only to realize that I've driven past the place twice already. There's meters up and down the side streets and a parking lot in back of the building, but on busier nights you may need to circle the block once or twice, depending on how late you arrive.

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Have your ID cocked and loaded, but ladies best leave your Mace, blades, and/or brass knuckles at home; your bags will be searched. Same goes for men, minus the purse check.....unless you are the man-purse carrying type perhaps? It's a mild comfort knowing the staff has the patrons' backs, if only in the dark confines of the club. The entire staff here is friendly and very helpful, especially the bartenders. This in mind, Luis, an owner, and "Nice Guy" Sharky, a manager, keep this bar pouring out the fun, be it in drink form or just good conversation, on top of all the hard work they put in each night. They have both made more than a couple of my evenings at The Airliner that much more fun by hanging out.

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The Airliner has a large bar upon entering and a smaller bar on the second floor - 10,000 extra points for that. They also have 3 (count them, 3!) stages and a huge smoking patio out back, with an additional smaller smokers' balcony right off the 2nd floor bar. Speaking of said 2nd floor - they rock dub on a pretty good-sized dance floor for when the mood strikes. And it usually does. Need food? They serve that too! Bar food with a self-described Southwestern flair. And yeah, you bet your sweet behind tacos are on that menu.

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On this particular evening I came out to see and hear some of what LA has to offer in the market of art-meets-music. Stage 1, downstairs, had a few indie rock-ish bands going off to their own crowd of bar-leaners and isle blockers. Loud as hell, but still at a decent decibel level.

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Not my type of sound, so I chose to grab a beer (or 5) and moved to the outside club. It's underground hip-hop tonight and that's what I'd come to hear! Granted a few of my friends were on stage, but the performers in between were nothing to ditch for a bathroom break or another round. Also holding the show was live screen printing courtesy of RTYST and a small pseudo art gallery lining the walls of the stage. Multiple DJ's spun platinum underground hip-hop throughout the evening, with the same turntablists backing up the performers into the wee hours. We took it 'til the club was cleaning up and locking its doors.

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(One of many dudes lurking in the bathroom)

One thing I feel the need to mention, being a lady n' all, is the bathroom situation. The 1st floor ladies room stall "doors" are shower curtains, black shower curtains. Here you have the pleasure of getting them whipped open at any given moment by a fellow female patron screaming, "Oh, I'm so sorry!" Get used to having to say it or hearing it said. Luckily there is a second women's restroom by the upstairs bar with an actual door! But during packed shows, that restroom will be infiltrated by men throughout the night. Luckily they're fast, so it really poses no problem.

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Other than that, no complaints here! Never a disappointment if you're heading out to hang with friends, get some dinner, drinks, listen to music, contemplate art or whatever else they've got going on any given night of the week, the space keeps it diverse and fun. Another plus, the drinks are relatively cheap. And who doesn't like that in this land of $7 domestics? I always have the best time every time I hit up the Airliner. It's like being at a chill party with 100 of your closest friends.

For more info on The Airliner check out Airliner's My Space page.

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