Last year, Aidan Demarest, the Boston born showman who’s run bars at Seven Grand, The Edison, First & Hope and The Spare Room, discussed remaining growth areas in L.A. He said, “The suburbs have not yet felt any of the waves of mixology, and they will.” His comments turned out to be prescient, as he recently decided to transition from operations to ownership…in Glendale!
Demarest recently purchased Sidebar in Glendale, which is situated north of the 134, and it will reopen on October 7 as Neat with an all-star opening party featuring Erick Castro, Miami’s John Lermayer and Tello Demarest Liquid Assets business partner Marcos Tello behind the bar.
Demarest said he wouldn’t have taken the risk even 18 months ago, but that the success 1886 was able to achieve with help from him and Tello convinced him that the time had come. The bar in back of The Raymond has doubled initial projections and even rated among the nation’s best in the April 2011 edition of Food & Wine. “I’m a little more confident in my reach, and also in the consumers of Los Angeles,” said Demarest,” adding, “The internet has changed the map of Los Angeles…You don’t have to be at Hollywood & Highland to draw a crowd.”
Demarest is stripping away Sidebar’s Moroccan theme, and a new CUP will accommodate 100 drinkers. He’s having shelves built to accommodate 250 different bottles. Given the name, every cocktail will come with glasses of neat spirit and Kold-Draft ice, and either “soda,” “citrus” or “sweet.” Demarest said, “I just wanted to get back to that library of spirits, spirit forward,” adding, “It’s going to almost be as simple as Seven Grand was back in the day.”
October 5 will be Demarest’s last night working full-time at The Spare Room. He already had a tiki event planned with Lermayer and Castro, and that will be his aloha style send-off from Hollywood, though he will continue to promote events at The Spare Room. Head bartender Naomi Schimek has been promoted to the venue’s Beverage Director, and The Spare Room will hire another GM.
Demarest said Tello Demarest Liquid Assets has at least two more “culinary” projects in the works, beginning with Kate Mantilini. They start to retool their “first mainstream Beverly Hills joint” on October 1, and there’s a possibility they’ll overhaul the Woodland Hills branch as well.