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A Tricky Melrose Space Shifts to Shareable Cocktails and Snacks

Goodbye Alta Nordic Kitchen, hello Severance

The former Smoke.Oil.Salt. space
Wonho Frank Lee

Here comes another switcheroo along Melrose, as relatively-recent restaurant addition Alta Nordic Kitchen will close at the end of the month. In its place comes Severance, a bar-focused idea that involves light bites and late nights. Both recent options for that address are a far cry from the previous two known names to occupy the space: Perfecto Rocher’s Spanish restaurant Smoke. Oil. Salt., and Evan Kleiman’s beloved Angeli Caffe, which closed in 2011.

Severance is the brainchild of Evan Charest, the longtime barman who most recently has worked as the corporate beverage director for Patina. He’ll be overseeing a collection of drinks meant to be shared in groups, specifically punches and other boozy, large-format fare. There will also be beer and lots of wine, of course.

On the food front, look for an opening menu from chef Weston Ludeke, also of Patina and, once upon a time, Birch in Hollywood. It’s mostly just simple bar fare surrounding options like cheese and fondue, but easily snackable alongside all the booze. That’s a far cry from the current tenant Alta Nordic Kitchen, the severely Scandinavian restaurant from New York City chef Christer Larsson, whose final night of service will be July 28.

Severance, meanwhile, should arrive by late August or early September, according to broker team Apex Estate Group. When it does come online, it will join a handful of other new cocktail projects around town with a light culinary focus, from the recently-opened mezcal spot Bar Calo in Echo Park to Dama down in the Fashion District.

Severance. 7274 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles.

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