As one of LA’s most enduring dive bars, Smog Cutter‘s 2017 closure was a huge loss for the city. After a year of tight-lipped renovation, its replacement opens Saturday. Equal Parts is the new neighborhood’s bar by the owners of Virgil Village’s high-end convenience store, Corner Shop.
Equal Parts emphasizes classics: with cocktails, karaoke, and a jukebox. It’s the first bar project from Reza Samadi and Adam Ohler. As former sommelier at République and Lucques, bar manager at Kendall’s Brasserie, Ohler’s vast bar experience came in handy. Both met and worked together at LACMA’s Ray’s and Stark Bar.
“Equal Parts is a balancing act between high and low, with something for everyone,” says Ohler. “With great versions of those unimprovable, battle-tested drinks everyone knows and loves, we’ll use fresh juice and a nice selection of craft spirits right alongside Jack and Fireball, and a few other things you’d never see behind the stick at a craft cocktail bar, and that’s just the way we like it.”
The duo aren’t trying to make Equal Parts like another Smog Cutter, but they did their best to maintain its divey charms. They ditched the pool table, restored the bar, brought in comfortable furniture and video games, and scheduled a weekday happy hour from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. And of course, there’s karaoke on Mondays and Thursdays.
“It’s what the neighborhood needs,” says Samadi. “The heritage of that space requires it remain a neighborhood bar. We love what great bars do. We wanted to try and keep things more approachable, inclusive.”
Smog Cutter’s owner, Nita Sevikul, shuttered the bar one year ago. Sevikul operated for two years without a lease after decades of operation. Starting Saturday, Equal Parts is open from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m. daily.
Equal Parts. 864 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA