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One of Downtown’s Most Gorgeous Bars Reborn With New Cocktail Direction

Westbound to become Here & Now, with some new ownership help

The former Westbound bar
Dylan + Jeni
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.

One of the Arts District’s most attractive bar spaces comes back to life, with Westbound set to reopen at the sprawling One Santa Fe complex next month. The place won’t carry the same name as before, though; Instead, welcome Here & Now to the scene.

Westbound closed back in May of this year after owner Sarah Meade decided she could no longer continue on inside the stunning throwback space. The bar, loosely modeled after a retro train station aesthetic that payed homage to the rail yard behind, had lasted for two years before quietly closing down.

Now Meade is back, partnering with the Va’La Hospitality trio (Aaron Melendrez, Othón Nolasco, Damian Diaz) to open Here & Now in just a few weeks’ time. Those three are among the most respected bartenders in the city, having opened up places like E.R. B., Salazar, Hotel Figueroa, and Dama in the Fashion District. Along with Meade, the group plans to keep much of the decor and direction of Westbound intact, relying on classic cocktails done with modern techniques, all while keeping the interior aesthetic and growing the back patio area.

What’s more, Here & Now will retain chef Geo Delgado (Petit Ermitage) for a menu of small bar bites and snacks. The bar will also be gratuity free, a movement that has been making bigger and bigger waves in the hospitality sector over the past couple of years, particularly at places like Barcito in Downtown. Expect Here & Now to open to the world sometime in mid-October.

Here & Now. 300 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, CA.