West Hollywood’s cannabis consumption lounges are back on a path to opening, so it’s fitting that another player recently released plans to set up shop in a historic building just down from the famous Troubadour music venue. The new project, called the Antidote, even comes from a few familiar names.
While the 99-year-old building that will eventually house Antidote is still in a retrofit phase, ownership says the project will start actual construction in late 2022. When complete, Antidote’s two-level space will feature a massive 6,000-square-foot non-cannabis restaurant, as well as an attached consumption lounge space and private rooms that can be bought out for group gatherings.
Antidote was originally approved as an edibles-only consumption lounge, but in the intervening time, the City of West Hollywood made some changes surrounding its license. Consuming edibles can be a tricky practice when navigating customers with different dosage level needs, so now lounges that specialize in edibles must also offer separate non-consumption areas as well. For Antidote, the City of West Hollywood capped the smoking lounge to no more than 1,500 square feet, hence the non-smoking restaurant space that’s also on-site.
That cap speaks to the challenges that all consumption lounges face in California. For example, Antidote has specific parameters to operate within West Hollywood, then the greater county of Los Angeles, and also within the state of California (at the federal level, cannabis consumption is still technically illegal). As of now, the restaurant space cannot include any cannabis until state and local laws are changed to allow the operation to grow, which means no to on-site consumption there, but yes to a full bar. Cannabis consumption at Antidote has to happen elsewhere, like in the specific smoking lounge area, or in private rooms.
Antidote will also offer a retail space, and a drinking area called Pure Bar. Co-owner Kirk Cartozian says that Pure Bar will pair a water-soluble dehydrated cannabis powder with mocktails in a non-smoking environment. Once finished with dinner, diners can move upstairs to the smoking lounge or to on-site private dining rooms — some with views of the surrounding city as well.
Cartozian, it should be noted, also co-owns multiple Gaucho Grill locations with Adrian Amosa, and additional Antidote partners are Edgar Khalatian and Richard Lichtenstein. But both businesses will operate independently and separately. Take a look at the renderings below ahead of the planned opening in late 2022.