The bar was opened by life and business partners Walter Schneider and Alex Alexander, who had previously started the first gay establishment in West Hollywood, the Gallery Room, as well as a discotheque called Up Disco. After a friend spotted the current location on Abbot Kinney, the pair bought it and opened its doors in 1979. They frequently visited Cabo San Lucas and, on one of their trips, decided to name the bar after a species of game fish.
Over the next three and a half decades, the Roosterfish remained a pillar of the Westside LGBT community, known for its cheap drinks and dive-bar atmosphere, complete with pool tables and barbecues on the weekend.
Roosterfish mural was painted by Puerto Rican Alexis Diaz (La Pandilla) in 2013.