It’s been a time of change for Atwater Village of late. The long-sleepy neighborhood just east of the LA River that has quietly become home to some serious restaurant contenders like Hail Mary and the upscale Morihiro sushi restaurant, with others like the lauded Holy Basil on the way. Now comes news that two longtime local stalwarts — in this case Dune and next door neighbor Kaldi Coffee — are joining forces on an Eastern European cafe and bar called Sinizki, complete with pierogi, bar snacks, wine, and espresso.
Scott Zwiezen and Anne O’Malley of Dune are teaming up with Kaldi owner Alexander Mirecki Tavitian to transform the Kaldi space, with an eye towards operating a long, mellow bar inside; think lots of timeless touches like glass and heavy millwork, and folks bellied up at the bar for drinks and fast plates of fun food. Most of the seating will come outside in front of Sinizki, using the current Kaldi patio sidewalk space that was granted under LA’s al fresco pandemic dining program. Both Kaldi and neighbor Dune have thrived with outdoor dining thanks to especially generous sidewalk space, and the new Sinizki will hopefully make one half of the usable sidewalk a permanent addition to its plan. That means afternoon sunlight, coffee, glasses of wine, and Eastern European (think Polish and Ukrainian especially) snacks and heartier dinner fare. Make no mistake though, this will be more of a cafe and bar than a full-service restaurant, but with plenty of lingering and late evenings under the stars.
Regardless of the service format, the incoming Sinizki is a big win for Atwater Village and LA as a whole, which has a dearth of true Eastern European cafes and bars. Unlike the pierogi and brats culture of some East Coast cities (think Pittsburgh and across the Midwest), Anglelenos have instead long favorite a more Parisian cafe sensibility with salads and pastries and wine. Outside of nearby Glassell Park Polish restaurant Polka, there are few places for pierogi in Los Angeles.
It’s very early days for the upcoming Sinizki, and indeed Kaldi is still operating as a coffee shop and cafe for the time being. Eventually though, at a date to be determined later, owner Mirecki Tavitian will close down the shop (which has been open since 2002) to focus on the new joint venture. After a build-out and some inevitable twists and turns, prepare for an opening in late 2022.