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Veronique de Turenne

Doomed room

The Dume Room in Malibu

I confess - I was a Dume Room virgin. I've walked past the place for years on my way to the dry cleaners on one side or the pizza joint on the other but the bar itself, a raunchy, rowdy, smokey place, borderline dangerous in the best dive tradition, remained a mystery. During the day you'd see big, bad, flea-bitten dogs snoozing near the front door, waiting for their owners to drink their fill. At night it was everything a hole-in-the-wall should be - loud and crowded and unpredictable.

Inside the Dume Room

Pam Anderson, Emilio Estevez and Nick Nolte have been regulars. Ditto for firefighters, locals and adventurous Pepperdine students. And, as of last night, my friend, author Melissa Lion, and me.

Except for the cigarette smoke (and septic tank funk) it's my kind of place. Old wooden bar with carved legs, comfy stools, fancy fish tank in front, pool table in back. The drinks are strong and the bartender's friendly. There's live music on weekends and karaoke on Thursday. The juke box is pretty great. Talk to anyone and they'll talk back, buy you a beer, shoot a game of pool, and it's all a crying shame because the Dume Room, after 35 years in the same spot, 35 years of channeling old-style Malibu, is closing. Felled by the same rotton real estate deal that's laid waste to seemingly all of the indy businesses in town.

Last call is Nov. 30. People are already making plans. (And here's an online "Save the Dume Room" petition.)

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