The speakeasy trend that started rolling in the mid-aughts with The Edison’s opening is still raging on across L.A. North Hollywood now has its Federal Bar, Santa Monica its Basement Bar, and East Hollywood has that new underground stunner Harvard & Stone in Thai Town. Add Next Door Lounge to the list, as the owners of Hollywood’s The Corner are attaching this artisan cocktail space with a “1920’s speakeasy” vibe next to their Highland restaurant in late April.
Here, Corner owner Ferris Wehbe plans impressive steel doors that open into a 4,000 square-foot industrial space with fire pits and a built-in waterfall, plus leather couches and silent films. Mix-master general Starla Cummins will organize the bar program with reinvented takes on drinks like the French 75, Vesper, and Ward 8, along with her own fresh fruit juice cocktails that put a twist on the drinking habits of days past with lots of bubbly and vodka.
Executive chef Fidel Mendez will oversee a wood-burning stove and bakery in the kitchen, with help from pastry chef Frania Mendivil. The food sounds a little First & Hope-y, with creative, meat-centric selections sans the Southern slant. There will be Bay scallop lollipops with half-moon beets and Granny Smith apple slices garnished with honey mustard, a tostada Tinga Oaxaquena with black olives and avocado, and a buffalo burger topped with onion rings. You can also expect Bay shrimp ceviche and root veggie crostini.
Crostini, speakeasies, tinga, raw fish that isn’t sashimi, silent films, industrial 1920’s spaces, fresh fruit cocktails…a lot of buzz words being bandied about here. You’ll get a chance to see if it all works come late-April when Next Door Lounge opens and promptly gets mixed up with Little Next Door in your search engine.
Next Door Lounge, 1154 N Highland Ave. Hollywood.