On Thursday, May 4, Bar Next Door opened on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. Inspired by the fact that it’s (literally) next door to some of LA’s most legendary landmarks, the new craft cocktail bar – helmed by founder Lawrence Longo (Prince Street Pizza, Irv’s Burgers, Off The Menu) and Creative Bar Director Brynn Smith (Rossoblu, Sotto, AllBright) – reimagines the experience of a classic neighborhood haunt through a uniquely Angeleno lens, channeling the rich cultural tapestry of The Strip’s storied past and vibrant present through every mouth-watering cocktail.
“I’m really excited to pay tribute to the incredible history of our city through cocktails,” says Longo in a statement, who tapped Smith for her reputation of creating fun, whimsical libations. “We don’t have many standalone craft cocktail bars on The Strip. There are dives, hotel bars, club restaurants… we’re hoping to create a fun, laid-back addition to the landscape where folks can hoist a glass, sip on something that’ll excite their palates, and let the good times roll.”
Smith conceived each signature cocktail on the menu to pay homage to a different iconic location near the bar. Whether they’re seeking to kick off the night with a bang or savor a nightcap in style (or anything in between), imbibers can choose from the Whisky a Go-Go (a riff on a whiskey & coke that mimics cola flavors with liqueurs and vinegar; ingredients include Slane Irish Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Luxardo Amaro Abano, Luxardo Cherry Morlacco Liqueur, lime, balsamic vinegar, Ms. Better’s Bitters Miraculous Foamer), The Beverly Hills Hotel (a clarified pink paloma rosé spritz; ingredients include Casamigos Meletti 1870, La Luca prosecco rose, clarified grapefruit & lime, Mahina Coconut, Fancy Sprinkles rose quartz, banana leaf), or the La Cienega (a tiki-inspired ode to its translation to “the swamp”; ingredients include Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, Om Chocolate, Nixta Licor De Elote, cold brew, matcha, oat milk, basil, mint), to name a few. There will also be a list of classic stand-bys (like a Manhattan, Negroni, and Old Fashioned), as well as a generous list of spirits, beer, wine, and seltzer.
Set in an intimate, historic space designed in collaboration with Adam Greco of GRECODECO (Soho House, The Ned) and with contracting assistance from Rebel’s Wood (Tail O’ the Pup, Idle Hour, Irv’s Burgers, and Harlowe), Bar Next Door is where California chic meets the timeless allure of Old Hollywood’s rock ‘n’ roll era. Not grounded in a single time period or style, it nods to numerous eras and design references, all ensconced in a golden brown smokiness. Tunes will stream from a soundsystem sourced and curated by Uncanned Music that features a vintage reel-to-reel and marantz amplifiers. And like any good local watering hole, it will offer an area for everyone: diner stools, intimate booths, bench seating, standing room, and even a communal bathroom area.
History buffs will be excited to learn that the building itself also has a fabled past: for a period in the late 1940s, it housed the offices of the Cukor-Lipton Agency, a talent management agency that represented star players in the motion picture business, including Marilyn Monroe, who stepped inside the building’s doors as Norma Jeane Doughtery and came out as the legendary Marilyn we know her as today.
The team will be rounded out by General Manager Holly Mattson (Apotheke, Bar Clara) and Operating Partner Kara Rosenblum.
Bar Next Door is open daily from 4pm to 2am.