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A French-Leaning NYC Wine Bar Emerges as a New Downtown Contender

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Vanguard Wine Bar is heading to Olive Street

A bottle of white wine, with a filled glass, on a table surrounded by French food.
Wine and French food
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.

An East Coast wine bar with French leanings is landing in Downtown Los Angeles soon enough. Vanguard Wine Bar, with its four locations across Manhattan, will soon take up residence right on Olive Street between 8th Street and 9th Street and next door to the Modern Times Dankness Dojo beer bar.

Vanguard is a familiar kind of place for a certain type of Manhattanite. Each unassuming location focuses on dim lighting, relatively inexpensive glasses of wine, marble countertops, and a variety of simple French fare ranging from charcuterie to caviar to tartes and macarons for dessert. The vibe, it seems, is rather similar to a different French wine bar not too far away, Garçons de Café inside the Spring Street Arcade.

Owner Stefan Mailvaganam has been linked to the address via an ABC license, though the company has not yet posted publicly on its Instagram page or anywhere else regarding the West Coast jump. Reached by phone, Mailvaganam did confirm the move, saying that his new place should be up and running by the spring of next year. As for the menu, there will be a push into more California wines as well as the French, and the food will still lean European but with a touch more local flavor as well.

The eventual addition of Vanguard Wine Bar should just make things even more interesting for Downtown and adjacent wine drinkers. New York City’s own Ten Bells is already looking to (some day) pour its own wine not far from DTLA in Echo Park near natural wine specialist Bar Bandini, while others like Mignon, Oriel, and Pour Haus continue to thrive.

Vanguard Wine Bar. 824 S. Olive St., Los Angeles.