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Star Bartender Departs From Downtown’s Stunning Parisian-Style Cocktail Bar

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Kevin Lee’s tenure at ambitious The Wolves is over

Kevin Lee bartender pouring a drink with flair at The Wolves in Downtown LA
Kevin Lee, formerly of The Wolves
Wonho Frank Lee
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Last year’s most remarkable interior design went to The Wolves, and bartender Kevin Lee designed a menu that reflected the creativity of its ambience. Lee was previously at Puzzle Bar in sleepy La Mirada before coming up to LA to produce all housemade cocktails using its own vermouth, bitters, liqueurs, and more. Lee announced his departure, which he described as amicable, on Facebook with a long ode to his tenure:

This past year has been an incredible journey and we were fortunate to have surpassed our greatest hopes and dreams. The reception to my programs by both media and by our loyal guests was a tremendous honor that I will forever cherish. However, it is now time for me to move on to my next endeavor.

I would like to sincerely thank my partners at The Wolves, my exceptional bar team, each and every guest that joined us over the past year, and the many friends and colleagues made along the way. Your continued belief in our pursuit of excellence, as well as your continued love and support, will never be forgotten.

Eater asked Lee what his next project would be, but he declined to specify except that it was an opportunity that he simply could not pass up, hoping to share the news in the near future. Lee also designed the ambitious cocktail tasting menu at Le Néant, which opened on the mezzanine of The Wolves back in December at a price of $44 per person. That portion of The Wolves is permanently closed with Lee’s departure.

Eater also asked Wolves partner Isaac Mejia for comment, who said the bar will not replace Lee at this time and plans to restructure aspects of the establishment without providing any elaboration.

The Wolves. 519 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA.

Bar with ornate decorations at The Wolves, in Downtown LA.
The Wolves, Downtown LA
Wonho Frank Lee