Over the weekend, the newest outpost of Silverlake Wine opened quietly in downtown's Arts District. The wine shop joins its sibling stores Silverlake Wine in Silver Lake and Everson Royce in Pasadena in what is becoming a mini wine-store empire.
While Arts District residents certainly will be thrilled to have a wine store with SLW's quality level and friendly service, perhaps the more exciting news is that the owners also are planning a bar/restaurant in the same building called ERBar (short for Everson Royce Bar), and the kitchen will be run by Matt Molina, the James Beard Award-winning chef who recently departed Osteria Mozza. ERBar will be located in a space that was most recently a Señor Fish.
According to Randy Clement, one of the co-owners of Silverlake Wine, he and Molina have known each other for 18 years, since both were employees at Campanile. The two share the training and ethos imparted by Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel at Campanile, and Clement says that when Molina decided it was time to move on from Osteria Mozza, the chance for the two of them to work together again seemed logical.
Clement says they're building ERBar to be "the bar we all want to go to." He describes the style of food as "thoughtful," but they're declining to put any labels on the cuisine for now. It will not be the purely Italian cooking we've seen from Molina in the past. "We're going to let the neighborhood decide somewhat — we're going to feel out what people want and need from us," Clement says.
With a full liquor license and as much focus on liquor as on wine and beer, ERBar is positioning itself as an industry hangout — a spot for people from the booze world to gravitate to when they come to L.A. The space encompasses a dining room with a long marble bar and banquette seating along the opposite wall, as well as a giant patio that may eventually also get its own bar. One of the things that attracted them to the space was the sizable parking lot. The wall facing the parking lot already has been adorned with a large mural by artist Tofer Chin.
The building that houses the two businesses is owned by Ezra Callahan, one of the first employees of Facebook. There is a third retail space that sits between Silver Lake Wine and ERBar, which, according to rumor, is going to be a bone broth restaurant unaffiliated with Silver Lake Wine.
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Clement hopes to have ERBar open in about a month, with the patio opening later, hopefully by July 4. For now, you can stop by the new Silver Lake Wine shop at the corner of Seventh and Mateo streets, which opens daily at noon.
Silverlake Wine Arts District, 1948 E. Seventh St.; silverlakewine.com.
ERBar, 1936 E. Seventh St.