On June 3, Spacecraft designer Kristofer Keith led me on a tour of his latest project, a sharp-looking Hollywood pub called Essex Public House. The former Parc space was already stocked with black-stained oak chairs. The only aspect that needed finishing was the back bar: 20 taps, mirrors, shelving and 6-7 flat screen TVs. Today, Essex co-owner Greg Link said the pub would soft open on July 1, with a grand opening the week after the Fourth.
Keith, who oversees a one-stop shop for design and construction, installed an industrial welded steel bar that he compared to a bridge or elevated train truss, with an oak top. Across the way, the exposed brick wall features a mirror and high-top banquettes. The adjacent room houses both black and natural brick walls, plus oversized chalkboard menus. Both rooms feature clear views of sidewalk tables.
Essex co-owner Greg Link joined me to discuss his pub. He said that he and his partners Essex “built the place we always wanted to drink. Up until BoHo, there was nowhere you could get really good beer and wine and pair it with good food. We got tired of driving to Santa Monica or Melrose.”
Link met AU Group partner Hunter Hensley in Vegas, where they managed adjacent clubs. Link was in charge of a slew of clubs with $20 million + budgets, including Light, Jet, Rum Jungle and Mix. The friends moved to L.A., where Link was GM at Hollywood club Element. Hensley managed One Sunset, working with opening chef Chris Ennis. On Essex, they ended up partnering with Element property owner Michael Greco and Ennis.
Why the former Parc space? “We wanted something right on the main track,” said Link. “Everybody was trying to force something on this space. This was more natural. We’re all in the 25-45 bracket, so this is something we thought people our age would enjoy.”
“The goal was nobody would look at the menu and say, ‘What is that?,’” says Link. Possible signature dishes include the braised short rib Shepherd’s pie. They’re also playing with a TV dinner concept, “trying to appeal to everybody’s roots.” “Beer Chick” Christina Perozzi is consulting on the beer selection. They’ll have 20 taps and 25-30 bottles, plus beer cocktails. On the wine front, expect 20 wines by the glass and 3-4 sparkling options, all available by quartino and bottle.
In other Spacecraft news, Keith said he started back on Osaka Hollywood in mid May, but it wasn’t quite “full fledge rock ‘em sock ‘em.” The Japanese restaurant, a Lima import co-owned by Adolfo Suaya, will feature a tree-lined patio and an entrance that requires diners to traverse a pond via stepping-stones. Keith also said he was 30 days from completing construction on Public House/Stout, a nearby burgers-and-beer concept from Charles Lew and Alex Kagianaris.