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The Abbey

692 N Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
1994 today
  • The Abbey itself opened up across the street in 1991 in the location that is now Bossa Nova.
  • When it opened, The Abbey was a coffee shop.
  • According to owner David Cooley, in an interview with Frontiers, the coffee shop got its theme from the stained glass windows found in his business partner’s basement and its name because with just five letters, the “Abbey” could save costs on signage.
  • In 1994, The Abbey moved across the street into the area where the bakery and patio bar are today.
  • In 1995, the Abbey received a beer and wine license, which was sold from out of the bakery.
  • In a WeHoVille profile on the Abbey, This Is West Hollywood publisher Scott Schmidt reminisced that during the 1990’s, “People would bring their books and study,” because it was one of the few places students under 21 could go in West Hollywood at night.
  • In 1997, The Abbey received its first full liquor license.
  • Also in 1997, The Abbey added a back patio area, immediately behind the bakery and patio bar, where the Cabanas and Cabana Bar are located today.  The bar was initially located between the Bar room and back patio but was moved to its current location on the northern wall in a later renovation.
  • In 2001, the area currently occupied by the Abbey’s dance floor was added as a space to host private parties and special events.
  • In 2005, The Abbey would fully take over the International Terra Cotta Building to its full 16,000 square foot configuration.
  • In 2006, Cooley entered a partnership with SBE Enterprises
  • in 2009, LogoTV named The Abbey as “The Best Gay Bar In The World”
  • In 2010, The Abbey converted the private room into its dance floor during the last major renovation.
  • The next year, The Abbey petitioned the City to convert from a restaurant to a nightclub to allow for dancing on its dance floor and smoking in outdoor areas.

Was a meeting place for local branches of AIDS advocacy groups like ACT UP. This marked the beginning of the Abbey's branding as an unofficial headquarters for gay rights advocates. After Proposition Eight passed in 2008, owner David Cooley hired buses to transport protestors downtown. Soon after, he banned bachelorette parties at the bar until gay marriage was legalized.