A night at 1642, a new beer and wine bar near Echo Park, is not nearly as medieval as a night at the Gold Room
My prayers have been answered: A new beer and wine bar has opened within walking distance of me in Echo Park. The best part? 1642, as the bar is called, is on Temple Street, near Glendale, on the border of Filipino Town, and not on Sunset Boulevard.
That's important because these days, the section of Sunset between Taix and the Short Stop has come to resemble a mini Sunset Strip at night; only instead of fratty types in flip-flops staggering to the House of Blues for another Bud Light, Echo Park has guys with ironic mustaches and pastel wolf shirts staggering from the Little Joy to the Gold Room for another beer and tequila combo meal.
For a while, the little hole-in-the-wall beer and wine bar El Prado managed to remain separate from this troublesome vibe, but it recently succumbed. What was once a respite from the possibility of being hit on by a guy wearing a fedora over his baseball cap has now become precisely where you go to receive such attention.
Which is why I'll now be heading to 1642 for my fermented refreshment. Like El Prado, the slender bar was once a divey Latino beer hall called Lupita's. It was purchased by a woman named Elizabeth Fischbach, who remodeled it, uncovering some of its original 1940s architecture in the process. The floor is polished concrete, the walls exposed brick. There is a long wooden bar illuminated by candles as well as a row of benches and tables toward the back.
To drink? Four to six craft beers on tap, including Eagle Rock Brewery's Red Velvet, and three red and three white wines by the glass. Also on offer, salted peanuts for snacking and occasional live music from local bands. Go now because apparently 1642 has already served as the ending point for a bike scavenger hunt. It can't be long before word of this quiet little gem drifts north toward Sunset and the madding uber-cool crowd.
1642, 1642 Temple St., Los Angeles.(213) 989-6836.
-- Jessica Gelt
Photo: Courtesy of 1642