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Bottles of wine and small plates Italian and French food on a marble countertop.

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A Tiny New Wine Bar Holds Big Promise Along LA’s West Third Street

The Sushi Note and Augustine Wine Bar teams are back with a new project on West Third Street

Melanie Wine Bar
| Wonho Frank Lee

A homey new wine bar has landed along West Third Street, one of the city’s most densely packed restaurant corridors. The new Melanie, backed by a cadre of well-known wine folks, takes over for the closed Simple Things at 8310 West Third Street tomorrow, with plans for a compact bottle list and rotating menu that leans into French and pan-Mediterranean flavors.

Melanie Wine Bar is the work of Andy Paxson (Simple Things) and Sushi Note partner Dave Gibbs, who is also behind spots like Augustine Wine Bar and Mirabelle Wine Bar. Not only have the pair previously brought one of the city’s best wine and sushi spots to life, but Gibbs specifically has a long history of craft neighborhood-friendly, intimate wine bars with mass appeal.

That’s the plan for Melanie as well. The small space isn’t designed for big, boisterous crowds, in part because — at just 450 square feet — it couldn’t hold them anyway. Instead, the focus is on an intentionally vintage aesthetic, from the throwback Edison bulbs to the black and white photos, aging wine bottles with flaking labels, and stained wood seating.

As for the food and drink, Gibbs will oversee the wine list along with Shane Lopez (Augustine Wine Bar). It’s a tight collection with just over two dozen approachable bottles at the outset, from sparkling options like Victorine de Chastenay Cremant de Bourgogne Brut to René Leclerc pinot noir. Bottles top out at around $70, with by-the-glass pours available up and down the menu. The beginning food menu comes by way of consulting chef Dro Dergevorkian, who has also helped out at Augustine in the past, and consists of small plates like Spanish octopus, steak au poivre, and more from the continental playbook.

The new Melanie Wine Bar opens wide along West Third Street tomorrow, keeping hours from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

A long, narrow room with a wine bar at the end and wood seating.
The small sub-500-square-foot space
A marble corner bar at a new dim wine bar restaurant.
Cozy corner seating
Wooden backed seats and small bistro chairs in a dim new wine bar at night.
Room for groups
Vintage lighting and wooden tables at an old school wine bar.
Bottles on display
A spoon drizzles olive oil atop an arm of octopus with radishes on top.
Spanish octopus
Black shelled spring mussels in a bowl with olives.
Salt spring mussels
Three people sit facing the camera in front of a table of small plates like steak frites.
The Melanie Wine Bar team
A sparkling sign for a wine bar with glowing city lights bouncing off the glass.
An evening glow from inside of a wine bar with a dark blue exterior and some outside tables.
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