Back in July Clifton’s Cafeteria announced a powerhouse trio of industry names intent on leading the massive, multi-story restaurant and nightlife spot into the 21st century. Now with the upcoming release of noted barman and overall beverage director Damian Windsor, all three are moving on.
With only two of the five bars currently open inside Clifton’s, there’s clearly loads more work to be done to get the place across the finish line, though Windsor (eventually) won’t be around to help. The affable cocktail master doesn’t have specific plans outside of Clifton’s as of yet — other than picking up some shifts at The Roger Room — but is adamant that the split is amicable, and that he’s currently helping to hire and train up the next in line as we speak. His replacement has not yet been named, but there are strong considerations underway for equally capable talent to come in and take over, apparently.
When all is said and done, the bar program at Clifton’s will span several floors and number almost half a dozen locations, including the downstairs Shadowbox bar that’s currently being compared to The Aviary in its scope. Other options include an upstairs Tiki bar called Pacific Seas, which should be coming online relatively soon.
The other big loss for Clifton’s comes from the kitchen, where Jason Fullilove departed just last week. According to many, the place has proven to be quite a big challenge — in terms of scope, physical size, and volume of customers — which has given way to a bit of negative press following their massive opening. And according to LA Magazine, operations lead Anuar Pinto Velasco is also gone already.
Still, owner Andrew Meieran has never been one to shy away from big projects or long-term thinking, which means its only a matter of time before the new-again Clifton’s settles in for another long run in Downtown Los Angeles.