LA Welcomes Employees Only

Employees Only, the famed New York speakeasy from Midnight Hospitality Group’s Steven B. Weisburd and Tom Sopit, has finally opened in Los Angeles and, as can be expected, the secret bar has been washed with a distinctly Southern California vibe.

Where the east coast space is dark and narrow, entered via a curtain that shields the action inside from the street, the west coast restaurant, though still shielded from the street by that signature velvet drape, is large, spacious and lighter. The front bar, a replica of one in the New York space, has been amplified. Mahogany, cherry wood, bronze and textured wallpaper bring depth and elegance. A dining room’s been added.

The space was designed by Jon Sofio of Built, Inc., the brains behind some of the city’s most long standing hot spots — Delilah, Nice Guys, Pink Taco. Sofio knows his way around a comfortable and welcoming evening spot. Ridding the building of any trace of the barbecue joint that was formerly on this spot, his meticulous work intertwines Old Hollywood and new. Art Deco elements and Scandinavian sleek embrace in a seamless dance that gets steamier as the evening progresses and the lights dim to a romantic glow.

The food is just as welcoming. Classic fare, like a flawless hand-cut steak tartare, mixed to order tableside, a margherita pizza, lamb chops and oysters mignonette, are exactly what you want when you’ve a hankering for a bite and a cocktail. 

Oh yes, the cocktails. Brought to you by legendary mixologist and EO co-founder, Dushan Zaric, to taste them is to understand why they’re the primary draw here. There are the beloved EO Classics - a perfect Manhattan, the Ginger Smash, Fraise Sauvage — alongside some drinks created exclusively for this location, with evocative names like Distance & Elegance, Hope Monkey and The Infinity Cocktail. Unsure about what to get? Try Bartender’s Choice, a “Spin The Bottle” inspired concept on choosing a spirit and flavor profile to create a custom cocktail.  If you’re still stumped, call over one of the psychics-in-residence. They offer 15-minute spiritual readings for $25/session.

The spirits will move you one way or another. 

Employees Only, 7953 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046 (323) 536-9045

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