Chef/club owner/punk musician Zach Neil is making his way through childhood favorites, first opening Star Wars–inspired pop-up bar the Darkside and then the Beetlejuice-themed restaurant Beetle House in Hollywood and New York City last year.
His latest creation? The psychedelic Austin Powers dance venue Electric Pussycat, in downtown Glendale. The groovy, 2,800-square-foot, two-level venue, which opens Saturday, April 14, has a grilled cheese sandwich area and serves over-the-top shakes with unique cereal and cookie toppings.
“I’m following everything I loved as a kid, trying to make them into real spaces,” the nostalgic Neil, who co-runs New Gold Empire, tells L.A. Weekly. “Austin Powers was one of my favorite movies growing up. I had posters and action figures and I loved the fun that it brought to audiences. I knew other people would enjoy this.”
Partnering with Boulevard Nightlife Group, which runs Yamashiro, Adults Only Bar and TCL Chinese Theatre, Neil is hoping the Hollywood crowd will travel to Glendale to visit his latest hot spot. “We left Hollywood to come to the Valley. Eighty percent of our customers from our other businesses all live here,” he says. “So why are we making them drive to Hollywood Boulevard when we can have them here in beautiful, clean Glendale? Why doesn’t anything cool ever open here?”
Along for the ride is executive chef Chris Binotto, who also oversees Beetle House. Binotto, who used to work with chef Masaharu Morimoto (Iron Chef) in New York, worked with Neil to create the limited ‘60s style menu for Electric Pussycat. “With just a variety of sandwiches and milkshakes on the menu, we were going for fun comfort food that tastes amazing and is on point,” says Binotto, who also has a fine-dining side business, the Cannabis Supper Club.
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The bar will have a variety of craft cocktails, created by singer-mixologist Gia Farrell. She recommends the Fook You (sake, cucumber, simple syrup and lime), which she describes as a “really refreshing” drink. Other fun cocktails include the vodka-based Cryogenic Freeze and the Yeah Baby, and the whiskey-based Smoke and a Pancake.
Next up for Neil are a This Is Spinal Tap–inspired rock & roll bar in downtown L.A. to open this summer, a book deal and a Selena celebration commemorating the slain singer’s death.
Electric Pussycat, 103 E. Broadway, Glendale.