The Bulge from “Parks and Recreation”Jul 5th, 2012 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
Another day, another location from fave show Parks and Recreation! Seriously, I hope you guys aren’t getting sick of P&R locales yet. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and I hit up the Oxford Inn in Van Nuys, aka the bar that stands in for the Bulge – Pawnee, Indiana’s local gay bar. I learned of this location, as always, from fellow stalker Owen of the When Write Is Wrong blog.
While watching the Season 3 episode of Parks and Recreation titled “Go Big or Go Home”, Owen had noticed an address number of 13713 written above the Bulge’s front door. One quick Google search of “13713”, “bar” and “Van Nuys” (because the show typically films in that area), led him to the Oxford Inn at 13713 Oxnard Street, directly across from Barone’s Famous Italian Restaurant from The Office, which I blogged about here. And, voila, the Inn turned out to be the right place. Yay! Come to find out, though, our search would not end there. But more on that later.
While the interior of the Bulge has been featured in two episodes of Parks and Recreation (Season 2’s “Pawnee Zoo” and Season’s 3 “Go Big or Go Home”), the exterior has only popped up once – in “Go Big or Go Home”. In the episode, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) crash Ann Perkin’s (Rashida Jones’) first date with Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) and then convince the two of them to go dancing at the Bulge. As you can see below, aside from the fake neon “the Bulge” sign, the Oxwood Inn looks much the same in person as it did onscreen. And, in a synchronistic twist of fate, the Oxwood Inn is actually a gay bar in real life, too!
The interior, however, is another story entirely. As you can see below, the interior of the Oxwood Inn has a very definite blue hue to it. And while I did not remember that blue hue from the series, I figured that producers had changed the lighting for the filming. Oh, how wrong I was.
When I got home and re-watched “Pawnee Zoo” and “Go Big or Go Home”, I realized that a completely different bar had been used for all of the interior scenes – which meant that I had another hunt on my hands.
Because I am like a pit bull when it comes to stalking (once I latch on to a search, I have a very hard time letting go), I immediately started looking online for “divey” bars located in the San Fernando Valley. And while it took me a looooooooong time to track the place down, I am very happy to report that I finally did! As it turns out, the interior of the Bulge is Serra’s Dine & Dance in Studio City. I, of course, dragged the Grim Cheaper right on out there to grab some lunch just a few days later, but unfortunately the eatery is only open at night, so we were unable to go inside. I will be definitely be heading back there for a re-stalk in the near future, though. In the meantime, you can check out some interior photographs of Serra’s here and here. As you can see, it looks much the same in person as it does onscreen.
I am guessing that the reason two different bars were used as the Bulge’s interior and exterior is because the exterior of Serra’s Dine & Dance does not look very much like a small-town dive bar, while the Oxwood Inn does, as you can see below.
Big THANK YOU to Owen, from the When Write Is Wrong blog, for finding this location!
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Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Oxwood Inn, aka the exterior of The Bulge from the “Go Big or Go Home” episode of Parks and Recreation, is located at 13713 Oxnard Street in Van Nuys. You can visit the bar’s official website here. Right across the street from the Oxwood Inn at 13726 Oxnard Street is Barone’s Famous Italian Restaurant from The Office, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Bad News Bears, which I blogged about here. You can visit the Barone’s website here. Serra’s Dine & Dance, aka the interior of The Bulge from Parks and Recreation, is located at 12449 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. You can visit Serra’s official website here.