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Mohawk Bend, a 10,000-square-foot bar and restaurant, to open in Echo Park; also on the horizon: Sunset Beer Co.

December 3, 2010 |  2:34 pm


I wrote a story for Friday's Calendar section about the changing face of Echo Park nightlife. It's something that's been happening for the past 10 years but is reaching a real tipping point thanks to a couple of large-scale new projects: Mohawk Bend and Sunset Beer Co.

Mohawk Bend is under construction in the nearly 100-year-old Ramona theater on Sunset Boulevard near Alvarado (right next to Elf Cafe and across the street from City Sip). It's owned by Tony Yanow (who recently opened the popular beer-and-sausage pub, Tony's Darts Away, in Burbank) and is being built out by Kristofer Keith of Spacecraft designs.

Yanow says the 10,000-square-foot restaurant and bar will serve "farm-to-table" California fare with equal parts vegan and non-vegan offerings. The kitchen is split into two prep and cooking areas so the meat and non-meat-and-dairy worlds will never be in danger of mixing (Yanow and his wife are both vegans).

Also on the menu: 73 California craft beers. Yanow pledges to support California businesses, so all his wine is from California, and all his spirits as well. To that end, drinkers will see some unusual offerings such as liquor from Charbay, which is on the border of Sonoma.

"Their master distiller is a 13th-generation master distiller, which is really something. He makes a ton of good spirits and has won lots of awards. He's going to be supplying us with black walnut liqueur and 27-year-old apple brandy that he distilled with his father when he was 9 years old," Yanow says.

The space itself had been vacant for 26 years and was totally destroyed. Keith, who has designed many Hollywood hot spots -- including BoHo, Te'kila and Essex Public House -- is giving it "a very industrial vibe, like something you'd find in the warehouse district in New York."

"There's a lot of exposed brick. The restaurant and bar are in the middle of the space and as you move toward the back we're creating an indoor patio with a 4-foot-wide fireplace," Keith says. "There is also a big wall of warehouse windows as separation -- then we put in 15 skylights and big trees in back so it's very lush."

As an added bonus, there will be a front patio along Sunset Boulevard, and Yanow has plans to stay open serving both food and alcohol until 2 a.m.

If all goes according to schedule with inspections and permits, Mohawk Bend will open in February. 

Also on the horizon for the swiftly changing neighborhood: Sunset Beer Co., a craft beer store with plans to operate a tasting room and stock more than 1,000 bottles of beer (which would make it one of the largest craft beer stores in L.A.). Eastsider L.A. got the scoop, read more here.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: The future home of Mohawk Bend. Credit: Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles Times