Next week, newcomer Beaches Bar and Grill lands in West Hollywood. The bar is situated near some prime new and old businesses on the busy stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard near Robertson, hereby named WeHo Row. Owner John Bakalar opens the bar with Aidan Demarest, whose consulting firm, Aidan Demarest Group, will provide support. Both are former Edison alumni.
Demarest tended bar in West Hollywood for ten years, then managed at 213 Hospitality in DTLA for another few years where he presided over numerous bar openings, including opening Seven Grand with Cedd Moses. Demarest spent three years at the Edison, where he met Bakalar. Bakalar developed the new bar idea, asked Demarest to consult, and Beaches was born. The build-out started five months ago, and takes over a healthy 3,500 square feet. Beaches will offer light fare, cocktails, and serve some alcohol-filled drinks from a slushie machine.
According to Demarest, Beaches will rewrite the drink game on an evolving block in Boystown. In the 1990s, Demarest watched the iconic party block become highly active, then less so as full restaurants came and went, including Beaches’ former tenant, Skynny Kitchen. “Beaches is a fusion of cruise ship mixology drinks,” says Demarest. “I watched a lot of ‘The Love Boat.’ So Beaches is just like it. Except Issac has no shirt on, and there are boys dancing behind him on boxes.”
A sizable rear patio is in the works for Beaches, along with the other neighboring WeHo Row businesses. Information about Lisa Vanderpump’s Tom Tom Bar is scarce, and the space has been under construction for some time. Locals have spotted rear patio construction for Tom Tom, and the upcoming Bottega Louie.
Anticipation for Bottega still remains high, after announcing their Boystown debut almost two years ago. And Mother Lode, one of West Hollywood’s oldest bars, is adding an outdoor area as well. When complete, each patio will be visible to the other, and overlook West Hollywood Park, which is a walkway and city park. The City of West Hollywood is trying to divert foot traffic from Santa Monica Boulevard, and recently initiated clean up efforts. Beaches opens on Friday, February 2.
8928 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA
- Barman Aidan Demarest on Keeping it Neat [ELA]
- Downtown Dining Palace Bottega Louie Expanding to West Hollywood [ELA]
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the park was Robertson Lane, but is West Hollywood Park.