When Sage Vegan Bistro approached us about helping them expand into a brewery at their original Echo Park location, we knew it was a project we needed to be involved in. The innovative expansion planned to address a problem that many Los Angelenos didn’t even know existed — that most beers aren’t actually fit for a vegan diet, as many breweries use animal-derived additives and ingredients. More importantly, no vegan drinking establishments even existed in the L.A. area! Situated in the heart of Echo Park, the original Sage Vegan Bistro location in the historic Jensen Recreation Center posed some inherent problems. Before starting the project, FE sorted through all of the logistics of installing a brewery in the 1924 … Continued
I’ve been working with Karen and Quinn Hatfield since their first place, Hatfield’s, opened on Beverly in 2006. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to be their permit consultant for all of their restaurants — The Sycamore Kitchen, Odys + Penelope, and, opening soon, The Mighty. You could say we work well together. I really appreciate the level of trust and respect that we have for each other. For their three newest restaurants, the couple approached me to ensure their intended spaces would be feasible. For both The Sycamore Kitchen and Odys + Penelope, the Hatfields came to me with just a napkin sketch — literally. With this rough idea, I brought the sketch to life, working on kitchen … Continued
If you’re not familiar with all of the work that El Nido Family Centers does for the L.A. area, you should be. Since 1925, El Nido has served as one of the city’s most respected social service agencies and currently benefits more than 10,000 children, youth, and family members a year. The non-profit focuses on providing social services to disadvantaged communities throughout Los Angeles County in the hopes of empowering low-income communities to break the cycle of poverty, child abuse, violence, academic failure, and teen pregnancy through educational, youth development, health, and therapeutic services. Recently, El Nido has been working to grow their Garden to Table Youth Development Program. The program ultimately aims to be a biodynamic garden and … Continued
One of our biggest permitting challenges came to us through Tintorera, the newly-opened seafood-centered Mexican food restaurant in Silver Lake. When Mexico City restaurateur Walter Meyenberg approached us about helping him open his first restaurant in the U.S., we immediately started researching the property’s background. The restaurant’s space looked perfect for what Walter envisioned — a small indoor property for the restaurant’s kitchen and speakeasy and a large adjacent outdoor patio that could seat the bulk of Tintorera’s diners. The main problem? The entirety of the outdoor patio had been illegally constructed by the property’s previous owners, meaning that Tintorera could not legally utilize the patio even though the restaurant previously operating at the address had. Since the … Continued
Recently, on a flight from Rome to New York I met a woman whom I will call Kathleen. Our conversation began awkwardly as she noticed my concern while she swallowed a handful of pills with her Baileys and cream. She laughed and reassured me that what she had was not contagious, but PTSD. Kathleen was in the US Army, and had recently left active duty. Now she was here, sharing her stories and pretzels with me. It’s a 10 hour flight; the conversation we shared that evening went deep and made its mark. We discussed our struggles growing up, our life paths, and her feelings about military life. At one point, she asked, “when did you realize that hospitality … Continued
We are excited to receive the City Los Angeles Green Business Certification. This Certification is awarded to businesses that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible or sustainable manner.To become a Certified Green Business, participants must meet program standards for conserving resources, preventing pollution and minimizing waste and be in compliance with all environmental laws and regulations. To learn more about Los Angeles Green Business Certification click here.