One of Burbank's original dive bars is getting a facelift. Tony's Darts Away, a Magnolia Boulevard institution since the 1960's, has a new owner in Tony Yanow and a goal to be LA's first bottle-less bar. Yanow plans to "gently revamp" the bar by installing an integrated tap system serving 30+ California craft beers, red and white wines and sodas, all on tap.
With plans to open in April, Yanow says he'll be traveling from the Oregon state line to the Mexico border and everywhere in between to source the best craft beers California has to offer. Half of Tony's beer varieties will be fixed, while a selection of seasonal and limited edition beers will rotate on other taps. For the ultimate beer lover (or indecisive patron), the bar will offer flights of beer served by knowledgeable bartenders. Don't worry, beer newbies: the bartenders will happily help you find a favorite brew, too.
Don't want (or like) beer? Andy Lynch, Tony's sommelier, has put together a wine list of California's white and red varietals, all of which are on tap along with the beer. Despite the dive bar genre, Lynch works directly with California vintners to purchase individual barrels, some that aren't available anywhere else.
So why limit the libations to California? "Three reasons," explains Yanow. "First, the quality and freshness of local beer can't be beat. By offering only California beer, we're able to serve beer the way the brewer wants it served - not something that was shipped across the country and passed through many hands. Second... it's important for California businesses to support each other; we're all in this economy together and it's never been more important to support the small guy and buy local to help employ people in our community. Finally, the environmental impact - or carbon footprint - of shipping beer, nationally and internationally. I'm working hard to keep our 'beer miles' as low as can be."
going all-tap-all-the-time also means eliminating waste from empty beer, soft drink and wine bottles.
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Foodwise, Tony's will offer a selection of California-made pork, smoked chicken and vegetarian sausages -- plus four vegan options -- served on locally-baked buns.
Toppings range from Brinjal chutney to cilantro-tomatillo salsa and roasted Gilroy garlic paste. For those wanting more atypical bar food, there will be chili con carne, California cheese and beer pairings, housemade potato chips, arancini and onion-corn-chile pakora. There's even a variety of salads, all made from locally-grown ingredients.
If you're a long-time customer, you'll get your photo on the wall and a locked-in beer price. If you're everyone else, you can settle in with a craft brew, grab a book from Yanow's personal beer "library," and take a stab at the dart board.
Tony's Darts Away: 1710 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank (818) 253-1710.