Origins on the Sunset Strip
Opening its doors in early May 2023, Bar Next Door is the latest bustling addition to the illustrious Sunset Strip. The Sunset Strip is a legendary stretch of Sunset Boulevard located in West Hollywood, California. Renown worldwide for its vibrant nightlife, iconic music venues, luxurious hotels, and historic landmarks, the Sunset Strip is an integral part of Los Angeles’ cultural fabric.
Eventually emerging as a cultural hub for entertainment and counterculture in the mid-20th century the Sunset Strip became synonymous with the rise of the rock ‘n’ roll scene. Aspiring artists, musicians, and bohemians flocked here during 1960s and 1970’s. Naturally, enabling the rise of iconic venues like Whisky a Go Go, The Roxy Theatre, and The Troubadour. Renowned artists such as The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and Elton John have graced these venues, and built their careers on the Strip.
An Homage to the Sunset Strip: Bar Next Door
While the Sunset Strip retains its historic charm, it has evolved with the times. Today you will find an eclectic mix of modern and classic establishments blending the nostalgia of the past with the contemporary tastes of the present. Consequently, cue the creation of Bar Next Door. Bar Next Door is an intimate and nostalgic craft cocktail bar that deftly blends the many eras of the Sunset Strip’s history. Additionally, the establishment actively references late starlet, Marilyn Monroe.
Monroe’s connection to the bar can be traced back to the late 1940’s. Many decades ago the building belonged to the iconic Cukor-Lipton Agency. Cukor-Lipton represented Monroe and inevitably cultivated her into the presence we know today. Cognizant of the building’s tremendous history the staff has implemented easter eggs across the bar as a nod to Monroe. Upon sitting down you will be offered chips. This is a nod to the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. When invited by Tom Ewell to enjoy an evening of air-conditioned comfort in his apartment, Monroe graciously reciprocates by bringing with her a bottle of champagne and a bag of potato chips.
The intimate space references art deco motifs with its golden-brown tones, masterful tile-work, plush leather booths and stools, pendant lighting, beautiful wooden bar and analog reel-to-reel player. Furthermore, one cannot help but feel transported and at ease while enjoying a deliciously balanced cocktail, listening to tunes such as the late Amy Winehouse’s (There Is) No Greater Love on reel-to-reel, and conversing with the hospitable staff and patrons.
Wowed by her experience at Bar Next Door Enthusiast Report’s Digital Marketing Director, Miyuri Norris, conversed with Bar Next Door’s Bar Director, Brynn Smith (Sotto, Rossoblu, AllBright) to discuss; the bar’s origins, signature cocktails, and future offerings.
What inspired the concept behind the bar, and how did the founding team come together?
One of the owners, Lawrence Longo, who also owns Prince St. Pizza next door, wanted to create a neighborhood bar for people to stop in for a drink before their night out, after their night out or throughout their night. A bar where everybody knows your name and a new spot off the iconic Sunset Strip.
Lawrence contracted me to consult on the cocktail program, and create the concept of the bar. Once I saw the beautiful renderings by designer Adam Greco (Soho House, The Ned London), I fell in love with how chic Bar Next Door was and knew I needed to create a fun and vibey craft cocktail spot. I was inspired by what was literally “next door” to us and the iconic nature of the Sunset Strip with its storied past and Hollywood and rock ‘n’ roll energy.
What are your differentiating factors from other bars and lounges in LA?
As crazy as it sounds, there are not many craft cocktail bars on The Sunset Strip, if any at all. We have dive bars, social clubs and hotel & restaurant bars, so we really wanted to add that missing element to this legendary part of Los Angeles. I have lived and drank on the Strip for 17 years and truly believe this is the craft cocktail bar we’ve been missing.
What are your most popular signature cocktails, and what inspired them?
All my signature cocktails are inspired by the iconic places and side streets that currently are or have been next door to our location over the past few decades. I show love to music venues, hotels and streets that cross through Sunset Blvd.
I have a special place in my heart for all my cocktail creations, but our most popular drinks are definitely my clarified with coconut milk Paloma Spritz with edible glitter, The Beverly Hills Hotel.
Another favorite is my Olive Drive, which is a mashup of a Vesper meets a dirty martini with some added infusion of lime leaves and a hint of Thai chili, and also my romantic Mezcal golden Negroni variation with aromatics of grapefruit essence and basil. Hard to not mention them all, as I feel like this is my love letter in cocktail form to the strip.
Is Bar Next Door planning on hosting any events in the near future?
Yes, we are already planning some fun summer activations and brand events. Look out on our Instagram, @barnextdoor_, for more information and email us at email@example.com to plan your next event.
What is the Owner’s Lounge concept (if you can disclose)?
All I can say is that it’s coming soon and that it will add another dimension to what has already become such a special bar.
How would you describe the general crowd at Bar Next Door?
Our crowd is a mix of neighborhood people from the hills above, industry folks and some tourists from the hotels-most everyone is here to enjoy a good sip in a vibey atmosphere.
Connect with Bar Next Door
Address: 9159 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Hours: Mon-Sun; 4PM – 2AM
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