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Last Call for Silver Lake's Legendary Gay Piano Bar

Silver Lake dads will replace the silver daddies who make up an important part of the legacy of The Other Side.

It was crowded Monday night at The Other Side in Silver Lake.

"It's about 15 times the normal Monday crowd," said a bartender.

Hipster nation regulars mingled with the curious or nostalgic, along the bar and also near the piano at the far end of the room.

Some took the mike,belting out tunes from Broadway or Beyonce, as pianist James Lent played along.

See Lent sing "Give My Regards to Broadway" in the video above.

Lent, who also teaches at the Colburn School of Music downtown, was working overtime on Monday.

He normally plays on Fridays.

And he'd been there last Friday when Jason Insalaco, District Director for Assembly member Mike Gatto, presented The Other Side's owner and staff with a proclamation.

Insalaco's grandparents had owned the bar in the 1960s when it was called Patino's.

'Whether it was Christmas, barbecues--or from what I heard fabulous Halloween parties--this bar provided a refuge and a sense of belonging," Insalaco told the largely silver-haired crowd.

"The LAPD used to come in here and drag people out for no reason," added Silver Lake filmmaker Jane Cantillon.

She was shooting for the new end she's crafting for her 2006 documentary about the bar called The Other Side.

"A lot of the older gentlemen here really suffered for your independence," Cantillon reminded everyone.

Pianist James Lent will be back for one last stand this Friday, the day before the The Other Side and the Flying Leap Cafe restaurant next door close for good.

It will be interesting to see how crowded things get as the generations crowd in.

The new owners may be curious too.

They already have plans to create a new spin on the gastro pub called Hyperion Public, opening this summer.

According to the restaurant website:

Hyperion Public was inspired by three dads who met at their kids preschool. They wanted a place where they could take their kids, have a good meal, catch a game or some local talent or just have a good time.

As one twenty-something couple seated at the bar told us, they're now thinking about putting in a piano.

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A previous version of this article included a reference to Jason Isalaco. We apologize. We have new glasses on order!

William Mitchell June 20, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Great reporting, Anthea! So evocative it makes me feel as though I was there right alongside you!
Anthea Raymond (Editor) June 20, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Hilarious you.
Johnny Angel Wendell June 21, 2012 at 01:09 AM
"Insalaco", Anthea. (He used to be my boss in SF!)
Anthea Raymond (Editor) June 21, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Gracias dude. I have new glasses on order.

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