Along with Whisky a Go Go and The Viper Room, The Rainbow Bar and Grill is one of the most popular restaurant slash rock nightclubs along Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. It functions as pretty much a regular restaurant during the day, serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, the Rainbow Bar and Grill is more known for the club upstairs, called Over the Rainbow. The Rainbow Bar and Grill was originally owned by Oscar-winning Hollywood director Vincente Minnelli, father of Liza Minnelli and ex-husband to Judy Garland.
Perhaps because of Vincente Minnelli’s Hollywood connections, the Rainbow Bar and Grill became a popular hangout for various celebrities. Also known as the Rainbow, the Rainbow Bar and Grill is said to be the place where Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had their first date. As with most clubs, the Rainbow also gained its high-profile status because of its exclusivity and clientele selection. The club’s bouncer is very selective of the people he lets in, and only musicians can get into the club easily.
The Over the Rainbow club became a hotspot for a lot of famous musicians in the 60’s and 70’s. The club’s regulars during these years include Neil Diamond, Led Zeppelin, Keith Moon, Janis Joplin, and half of the fab four: Ringo Starr and John Lennon. Even the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, was often seen hanging out at the Rainbow. Even as the heavy metal and rock genres became widely popular in the 80’s, the Rainbow remained as a high-profile hangout for musicians. Guns N’ Roses, Poison, and Motley Crue were among the oft-seen celebrities at the Rainbow.
Although the Rainbow didn’t house performances by the musicians and celebrities mentioned above, the club became popular as the place where these celebrities could just relax and chill out. Over the Rainbow was featured in some of Guns N’ Roses’ music videos such as November Rain, Don’t Cry, and Estranged. Through the years, the Rainbow has upheld its reputation as a hangout for rock and roll celebrities even though its popularity is no longer as widespread as it used to be. The Over the Rainbow club is one of those venues that never abandoned their character. This is evidenced by the fact that even today, only rock music is played at the Rainbow.