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As its name implies, the 2-9 Cafe is located on the corner of 29th Street and Hoover Street in the North University Park neighborhood of the West Adams district, by the USC campus. The bar and restaurant are situated in a grand, old restored Victorian mansion, which was originally built by politician William Davis in 1897. With its logo painted in the Trojans' signature cardinal-and-gold colors and autographed photos of the school's celebrated song girls on the walls, the 2-9 Cafe is clearly a hangout for USC students, but it also attracts regulars from downtown and nearby neighborhoods. Flat-screen TVs tuned to sports are strategically located in the bar and in the adjoining restaurant, not far from USC banners, football mementos and portraits of such venerated Trojan mascots as George Tirebiter (a dog) and Traveler (the horse). The beer-&-wine bar features Harlow Ridge and Napa Ridge wines and such standby beers as Dos Equis, Sierra Nevada and Bud Light alongside draft favorites like Hefeweizen, Fat Tire and Wyder's Pear Cider. The restaurant, which includes a sidewalk patio, serves American and Mexican basics such as buffalo wings, quesadillas, soups, enchiladas, salads, sandwiches and burgers but also branches out with more unusual fare like Greek Lavash wraps. Best of all are the cafe's homemade red-velvet cupcakes, which are airier and fresher than most such confections. What really separates the 2-9 Cafe from other area hangouts, though, is the friendly, welcoming staff, who make even the most homesick students feel like they're part of the family.
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