Things are looking up on the restaurant front around Los Angeles (somewhat, at least), following a year of closures and uncertainty. More and more restaurants are reopening their dining rooms for on-site service, and new players — or planned second locations — have been filling the industry news cycle, giving hope for a bright spring and summer ahead.
Next up is MacLeod Ale Brewing Company, the Van Nuys cask ale creators, who have just inked a deal to open a standalone restaurant in the former Maximiliano space in Highland Park.
News of the incoming pizza and beer restaurant comes from What Now LA, which says the deal has just been completed at 5930 E. York Boulevard. “We’re hoping to open by the spring of 2022,” owner Jennifer Febre told the site, adding that the plan is to keep much of the kitchen intact while expanding the seating area and outdoor patio space to allow for as much open-air dining as possible. The kitchen news is notable because it represents a big shift for MacLeod as a company, having started in 2014 only as a brewery making British-style cask ales and other brews. The brewery hosted pop-up operators for years before installing its own pizza oven and building out a robust food menu that even includes salads, sandwiches, and appetizers.
Still, the original Van Nuys location remained a brewery at its core; now the Highland Park location will be a restaurant through and through. It’s worth noting that ownership did have plans over the years to expand in different ways across the Valley at first, including with a British beer and meat pie shop, but this new Highland Park news is their first true expansion to date.
The formalized business deal comes more than a year after the loss of Maximiliano, which closed somewhat suddenly just two months before the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Chef/owner Andre Guerrero had run the Italian restaurant for more than nine years, but decided to “semi-retire” and put the place up for sale in January of that year. He still operates the Oinkster in Eagle Rock, and while is family runs the Burgerlords group off Figueroa in Highland Park and down in Chinatown. Expect an opening for MacLeod in the former Maximiliano space sometime early next year.