Silver Lake staple Bar Keeper is making a move to Virgil Village in the late spring. The new location is less than a mile away from the present one, with twice the size, hopefully permitted for a tasting room once the doors open in July.
Eater spoke with owner Joe Keeper, who opened the store 12 years ago in Sunset Junction. As one of LA’s chief vintage cocktail accessories stores, Bar Keeper is known as the place for home and professional bartenders, as Keeper sells some of the most interesting finds. But in April 2017, the landlord doubled the rent and tacked on a ten percent increase per year. There were other issues that prompted the need for a new space. Bar Keeper initially wanted to expand the store, and subsequently would have required them to make the it Americans With Disabilities Act compliant. When adding up these factors, Keeper had two choices: either go out of business, or move.
All of this is contingent on city approval, and Keeper just appeared in front of the City Council last night to argue his case. The store wants to offer tastings and needs the permitting to transfer over to the Hoover Street space, which used to be Uno Market. Bar Keeper’s secondary hearing is next Tuesday.
Bar Keeper’s neighbor is the new vegan joint Jewel, which used to be the fried-rice Hot Hot. They will have some competition with the boutique store Vinovore, the wine shop focused on female winemakers, which is owned and operated by Perch owner Coly Den Haan.
Overall, Keeper sees the move as a positive. “We’ll be more of a real liquor store, with a tasting room,” says Keeper. “And the vintage items will be displayed more. I’m not much of a drinker, and for me this store is all about the ritual of drinking.”
614 North Hoover Avenue
Los Angeles, CA