Unassuming craft beer corner shop Sunset Beer Company is entering expansion mode, opening up a big new retail and on-site drinking space in Highland Park.
According to documents filed with the Department of City Planning, Sunset Beer Company owner John Nugent has set his sights on fast-paced York Boulevard, which has been dramatically changed in the past few years with new bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and retail stores. Sunset Beer itself will take up some 2,500 square feet of frontage, meaning there’s room for both a bottle-selling shop and a tasting room, as well as a patio.
The mood is likely to mirror the company’s existing location in Echo Park, tucked into the corner of a strip mall off Sunset Boulevard. The tasting room has existed there since 2011, becoming a staple for the neighborhood drinking crowd even as new competition has moved in. Bar Calo, the mezcal-focused bar and restaurant from the Ostrich Farm team, just opened next door to big crowds, and Tsubaki up the street is adding a sake bar to its existing restaurant as well.
Sunset Beer Company’s owners (including partners Andrew Von Ah, Jenna Miller Von Ah, and Phil Klemmer) will face similarly-stiff competition when it does open on York, given the proliferation of places from The Hermosillo (the original site of Highland Park Brewery, and a popular craft beer bar in its own right) and Block Party. Brooklyn’s Barcade is also opening up in Highland Park soon, taking the former El Arco Iris address just down the street. There’s even a veritable street food war between vegan pop-ups happening weekly along York Boulevard these days, though some classic restaurants and shops like Huarache Azteca and Galco’s also continue to thrive.
Sunset Beer Company Highland Park. 5541 E. York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.