Most nights at the Abbey in West Hollywood begin and end in sweaty euphoria under flashing lights on the dance floor. But owner David Cooley is hoping you’ll want to squeeze in a craft cocktail and an intimate conversation.
Cooley, who opened what is arguably the most influential and lauded gay bar in Los Angeles almost three decades ago, recently transitioned one of its four rooms into a cocktail lounge called Within. Designed by his friend Chad Waterhouse, the sleek new space is go-go-boy-free, with gold walls and two full-length bars.
“I wanted it to be completely different because people have expectations when they come to the Abbey,” Cooley said. “I wanted this to be a chic hotel boutique lobby bar that looks like it was dropped within the Abbey.”
Within has a handful of cocktails unique to the space and bartenders who wear leather suspenders and denim. The bar’s signature martini, called the Within martini, was inspired by a recent trip to Buenos Aires. It’s a combination of Sauvignon Blanc, vodka and a splash of St-Germain with a lemon twist.
Cooley says he’s already planning to revamp another room in the Abbey, but he wouldn’t say which one just yet.