Longtime West LA Italian haunt Il Grano went the way of the dodo last year, shutting down service nearly two full decades into a spectacular run. That left a corner hole on along Santa Monica Boulevard for months, until The Nickel Bar stepped in to take over the place. Now the sports bar is up and running with a full food and drink menu — and not a moment too soon.
The Nickel Bar is a casual concept from the The Woodsman and Cocina Condesa team in Studio City, and was designed by David Maman to be a laid-back place for friends to gather over a few pints, a board game, or a night out watching the Dodgers play. In fact, the restaurant is in opening mode as of today, which means it's probably going to be Olympics galore on the wide array of TVs inside for the next few weeks.
On the food front, expect a focused menu of mostly New York style pizzas offered by the slice or whole pie, plus surrounding sides like a $12 basket of wings, garlic knots, and a few token salads. The main focus will be on the bar being run by beverage director James Lamont, with a lean towards whiskey (a bunch of them from the West Coast) and simple cocktails. During daily happy hours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., well cocktails are also just a staggeringly cheap $4.
The Nickel Bar officially opens today, keeping daily weekday hours from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. On weekends, look for expanded service beginning at 10 a.m.
The Nickel Bar
11359 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA