Silver Lake’s Bar Restaurant is closing permanently this weekend. The onetime Sunset Boulevard hotspot is calling it quits after a final service on Saturday, June 25.
The surprise shutter was announced last night on Instagram, in a post that reads in part:
Thank you to all our customers, staff and friends who made this place special during the most trying of times imaginable. We held on as long as we could, proud of what we accomplished and now sad to see it go. Frankly, it’s just time to get off the rollercoaster.
“We were white-hot,” says chef and partner Doug Rankin regarding Bar Restaurant’s opening in late fall 2019 in the former Malo space. “Then the pandemic happened and we were shut down. The navigation of the next two years, from opening and closing and different iterations of the restaurant… we just didn’t have enough time to be who we were.”
White-hot is right. In February 2020, after months of soaring sales, Rankin and owner Jeff Ellermeyer earned a glowing review from Bill Addison at the Los Angeles Times. Three weeks later restaurants were closed entirely for on-site dining, followed by waves of closures, takeaway needs, mask mandates, and staffing and supply chain issues. The restaurant did manage to seat diners for months on its large parking lot, but struggled to regain its sense of self, says Rankin.
“If everything was normal and the pandemic didn’t happen, we’d be in a very different place,” he says. “We did everything we could to keep the restaurant opening, from doing CSA boxes to family meals, to a rotisserie concept. We didn’t have enough time to form our identity and build a proper customer base.” Eater reached out to owner Jeff Ellermeyer (also of the Echo and El Prado) regarding the closure announcement but has not heard back.
“We held on a lot longer than a lot of other places that opened,” says Rankin. “We watched restaurants close daily, and it was really hard. We powered through, but at the end it just felt like it was time to get off the ride.”
Rankin credits his staff with keeping a brave face until the end. “A space is a space,” he says. “It’s a very different thing when you have emotional attachment to the people inside the building.” The final day of service for Bar Restaurant is Saturday, June 25.