Bar/Restaurant: Billy Reed’s

Established: 1975

Area: Downtown Palm Springs

Typa Joint: Beats the Hell out of Me!

Signature Cocktail: No, so I had a glass of wine

If you ever wondered what the love child of a Carrow’s diner and a whorehouse would look like, try Billy Reed’s.

What a schizophrenic joint! Outside is a pond teeming with overweight Koi.


Inside there are old-fashioned velvet settees and knockoff Tiffany stained glass lamps, mixed with oak furniture, exposed brick walls, wallpaper, lace curtains, and chandeliers.



Billy Reed’s opened in 1975, when it built up a loyal following – the same folks who continue to visit today. For a time it was operated by someone else, but the place is now back in Billy’s hands. (Billy is in his eighth decade but has had some work done, making him look, at most, like an eighty-something year old man who has had some work done.)


We never did get a straight answer on whether there was a happy hour, so I opted for a glass of Pinot Grigio. My appetizer of fried calamari was edible, but the pot roast dinner was cold, with over-cooked veggies and brown gravy that tasted like it was out of a package.

We visited on a Sunday and feasted our eyes on the decor and the clientele. At 4:30 in the afternoon, a woman of 80 or so walked by sporting an up-do, red velvet coat, and red boa. In the parking lot, teetering along with a cane, was another octogenarian customer, wearing five-inch platform FMPs (formerly known as “Fuck Me Pumps” but now always remembered by me as “Fill My Prescription”).

Billy makes all the pies, which were trotted around several times by a waiter telling eye roll and groan jokes.

I’m sure I need not return to Billy Reed’s, but it was certainly an experience.