Billy Heinzman and partner Katy Noochla-or (Soi 56, Tuk Tuk Thai, Rambutan Thai, Chadaka Thai) were planning to open Sen Noodle House in Los Feliz earlier this year. Now Heinzman has opted to hand the reins to an unnamed (for now) friend, who will transform the driving school into a beer and wine bar called Covell, which is currently slated to open in March 2010. The name refers to the street that Heinzman’s friend grew up on.
Heinzman decided to re-envision the concept because “Restaurants require too much time and overhead.” Covell will feature 20 beers on tap, all from local breweries, plus a “wide selection of wines.” Covell will feature $5 pints, and wines will run $5-12 per glass. “The idea is to support local products,” says Heinzman. “There’s enough Belgian beer bars in town. We’d like to educate the neighborhood on West Coast Breweries. The wines will be small production as well. Boutique style.”
In-house food will be limited to a small menu of cheeses and meats (upon health department approval), but Covell’s owners will invite food trucks to park in front. Heinzman said he’s also in the process of starting a catering truck called Tuk-Tuk Thai, a play on the Beverlywood Thai restaurant owned by partner Katy Noochla-or.
That isn’t Heinzman’s only news. “I’m also getting the back 4000 square feet permitted for a small production brewery,” he says. “Come by Soi 56 and try the Nakhon Lemongrass White or swing by Stout and try the Directors Cut IPA. These are our first two beers that we’re currently contracting out through a brewery in OC. We’ll start brewing in Los Feliz around summertime.” The working name is currently District 13, a nod to councilman Eric Garcetti’s district. Sam Chawinga, formerly of Roots in Portland, will by the Head Brewer. Chawinga created the recipes, which are currently being contract brewed by Aaron Barkenhagen, head brewer and owner of Bootleggers Brewery in Fullerton.