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LA’s Foremost Brunch Specialist Expands to a Familiar Downtown Hideaway

Blu Jam Café takes over where Bierbeisl left off

Blu Jam Café
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.

Is there a more popular brunch restaurant chain than Blu Jam Café? The long-running Melrose original still routinely sports the kind of weekend lines that would give Howlin’ Ray’s a run for its money, and has expanded over the years into Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, and (more recently) Tarzana — and that’s to say nothing of their cafe in Tokyo. Now they’re jumping into the Downtown morning fray with a familiar address inside the Spring Arcade.

The latest location, says a source, is the former site of chef Bernhard Mairinger’s beloved Bierbeisl. That proto-Austrian restaurant had many beloved fans but ultimately struggled to find a wider appeal in the sometimes slow warren that is the Spring Arcade, ultimately turning off the lights in hopes of returning again down the road.

And so the replacement will be Blu Jam, the bluesy brunch mainstay familiar to so many in the city. Because of its proposed central location within the Arcade, there will likely be an increase in foot traffic from both ends of the open-air walkthrough, which can only mean good things for all the other tenants involved. There’s the charming wine bar Garçons de Café, anchor tenant Guisados, and several other players still to come at the building, as well as the brand new stunner Kai Japanese Roots.

No official word on when Blu Jam will be up and running, but expect something likely by summer. The company has been hard at work with their recently-opened Tarzana outlet lately, so it’ll take some time for Downtown to get up to speed.

Blu Jam Café Downtown
541 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA