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Big New Details Confirm Gjelina’s Coming Restaurant Compound in West Adams

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More details emerge regarding “Gjohnny Pastrami” and the attached brewery

The old facade for Johnny’s Pastrami in West Adams, Los Angeles.
The former Johnny’s Pastrami space
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.

It looks like the rumors of chef Travis Lett’s involvement in the former Johnny’s Pastrami space in West Adams were well-founded, as Eater has dug up the city planning paperwork that lays out the whole affair. Not only is Lett — he of Gjusta/Gjelina fame — plotting a sandwich side to be called, cheekily enough, Gjohnny Pastrami, he and his team are also putting together a small brewery in an separate building on property, with lots of open-air dining and drinking space in between.

Just nine days after Eater first reported on Lett’s likely involvement with the iconic West Adams walk-up stand, Kelly Architects submitted paperwork on the West Adams Boulevard project. Kelly is the team behind some of the biggest restaurant and bar names across Los Angeles, from Mozza to the Edison to Clifton’s on down.

So what to expect? First is the name, an homage to the previous tenant that still falls in line with the Gjelina/Gjusta branding. Second is a conditional use permit request that asks for a “full line” of alcohol (that means hard stuff as well as beer and wine) to go along with not only the sandwich stand, but an on-premises microbrewery as well. In total they’re looking to place 199 seats (90 indoors, 109 outside) across the entire property.

What’s more interesting is the timing, with Lett’s team requesting that the walk-up food stand operate 24 hours a day (just as it had in the past), while the brewery portion continues daily until 2 a.m. Unlike the new on-site brewery that just opened up at Union Station, there will be no games on site, as well as no dancing or loud outdoor music all night long. The old school pole sign that hangs over the property will, thankfully, be allowed to stay.

Johnny’s pastrami
The plan is still to be open 24 hours
Farley Elliott

Overhead drawings for the property show a variety of seating options across the two areas, which are connected by a common outdoor space and small parking lot. There are tables set around the old Johnny’s stand as a kind of patio extension that runs along the sidewalk of West Adams Boulevard, and more patio room on the brewery side set just one building to the right. Inside there is a three-quarter bar with lots of communal table seating and standalone four-top tables, and in the back is an auxiliary bar listed as part of a beer garden.

Eater has reached out to the Gjelina team multiple times to discuss the project, which is currently under construction, but so far they have declined to respond. That means there’s no official timetable for when exactly Gjohnny Pastrami and the brewery will open. In the meantime though a number of other West Adams beer-focused projects are still swimming around, including one by longtime barman Jason Eisner.

Gjohnny Pastrami. 4327/4331 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.