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The Friend Is a Candy-Coated Cocktail Explosion in Silver Lake

The colorful newcomer offers cocktails, high art, and food from an Iron Chef alum

The Friend, Silver Lake
Farley Elliott
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Have you been keeping your eye on the former Barbarella space in Silver Lake lately? The dormant address has been anything but quiet since it went dark back in September, with the announcement that Eric Greenspan’s Midcourse Hospitality Group would be taking over both the sit-down restaurant side and helping out with an adjoining bar. Now the drinks portion is up and running (basically), operating under the moniker The Friend.

Neon signage is up, the place has been wrapped in a pillowy pink color, and there’s even artwork from noted street artists Andre Saraiva (who is also a co-owner) and Kenny Scharf around. Inside construction is ongoing, but that didn’t stop the management team behind The Friend from hosting a blow-out private party over the weekend.

So who’s running the show here? It’s none other than Jared Meisler, the longtime owner of some of your favorite drinking haunts from around town, including Bar Lubitsch, The Pikey, and Jones. Saraiva is also a partner along with Mickey Madden, while William Cutting steps in as beverage director and Eric Greenspan will work a food menu. The plan is for Greenspan’s snacky bar food to play off the cocktail list without stepping on the toes of Mare, his casual Mediterranean concept opening a third outlet right next door.

The Friend hosted a big weekend party last Saturday night, but is still in need of some final detail work before opening to the public. The plan right now is to angle for a New Years Eve opening, but things are fluid at the moment. Once it all comes together though, expect a variety of well-priced cocktails in the $12 range, plus some small bites and hours that run until 2 a.m. nightly — perfect for a non-Sunset stretch of Silver Lake that always seems ready for more quality drinking establishments.

The Friend
2611 Hyperion Ave.
Los Angeles, CA