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A Hollywood Victorian is home to the Houston brothers’ newest libation-focused time machine
Photograph by Dustin Snipes
Duck down the narrow courtyard at Hollywood and Schrader and you’ll find a 1902 turreted Victorian behind a wrought-iron fence. Once a school for the offspring of Charlie Chaplin, Cecil B. De Mille, and other machers, the space was most recently home to Janes House, a club that came off more Animal House than golden age. Now nightlife impresarios Mark and Jonnie Houston are revamping the space into a spiffy venture called Hotel Juniper, expected to open this month. The 33-year-old Houston twins—who grew up in Koreatown—have had a good run channeling the past in Hollywood: Their La Descarga is a rumcentric bar conjuring Old Havana, while Harvard & Stone is a post-World War II watering hole that evokes a boiler room. With their most recent project they’reenvisioning a quaint inn inhabited by a Prohibition-era gin joint. The historic building’s given them a lot to work with. It’s been accented with a mahogany bar, red tufted antique love seats, and “cigarette girls” selling candies and cigars. Borrowing from the enchanted armoire you walk through at La Descarga, the brothers have created a surprise entrance by the Juniper’s “concierge desk.” But set dressing—pretty much de rigueur these days—will get club owners only so far. The Houstons have brought in mix master Steve Livigni, a frequent collaborator, to craft a cocktail menu around small-batch gins, including an homage to bathtub gin (a punch bowl libation served atop dry ice). A speakeasy called 1902 is slated to open upstairs a few months down the line. The only thing missing is turndown service. // 6541 Hollywood Blvd. (entrance on Hudson St.), Hollywood,323-465-1902.