Bigger, badder and with a beer-and-cocktail program the envy of the whole Financial District, the new City Tavern in downtown will open next week as an expanded second home for the Westside gastropub that has since 2011 been known as a major supporter of local breweries.

“This one is Culver City's City Tavern on steroids,” General Manager Matt Meiers says of the new location, which will start serving the public at 5 p.m. on Feb. 4.

And beefed up it is. In addition to its glossy, transit-friendly location across from the conceptual food court TASTE inside the FIGat7th shopping center, downtown's City Tavern has more food, more drinks and is more than double the size of the original brick-and-copper neighborhood bar in Culver City. ]
Chef de cuisine Randy Montoya built upon Culver City's menu, adding a raw, chilled seafood section to an already healthy list of seasonal, beer-friendly dishes.

Cocktails are being updated, too, thanks to the darling duo of Brent Falco and Cari Hah, former mixologists at Cole's, Neat, The Varnish and other downtown spots, who will be head bartenders at the new City Tavern.

The two have crafted an enhanced selection of sophisticated, balanced drinks from their mini-martini lineup to their twist on a modern Cosmo, which pairs Absolut Elyx with cinnamon bark and anise-infused cointreau, Clear Creek cranberry liqueur and lime juice.

“Our approach is always spirit first,” Hah says. “We seek to highlight the best spirits and see the other cocktail ingredients as just enhancements.”

downtown L.A.'s City Tavern; Credit: Sarah Bennett

downtown L.A.'s City Tavern; Credit: Sarah Bennett

Beyond food and liquor, the downtown City Tavern will also maintain the brand's dedication to local craft. 27 of the 28 taps will always be flowing with beer from Los Angeles-area breweries and beer events will continue to take place either weekly or every other week.

The inaugural affair will be An Evening with Local Brewers on Feb. 6, a blow-out night featuring beers and faces from practically every Southland brewery.

After that, expect the usual rotation of pint nights and beer dinners, as well as cross-promotions like passport cards that will give perks to customers who frequent both locations.

“Ryan [Cues, manager of City Tavern Culver City] and I will probably be fighting for events,” Meiers says. “May the best man win!”

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