Yes, the new “nightlife concept” Warwick, by restaurateur Jeffrey Best and partners J.T. Torregiani and Sylvain Bitton, is on Sunset Boulevard in the old Club Lingerie space where Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers once played. But don’t call the huge, two-level space a nightclub and don’t expect the traditional bottle service to service the various living room-style booths. This venue will turn the idea of the farm-to-glass cocktails and bottle service on its head.
Jeffrey wanted cocktail consultants Jason Bran and Damian Windsor to use the freshest ingredients and that meant they had to create cocktail recipes around produce instead of spirits. None of this “we need a bourbon cocktail, which ingredients will complement that?” Rather, “blood oranges are in season, how do we complement those?” Crazy but cool. There’s even a workshop in an adjacent space to facilitate the juicing of fresh produce and the creation of ingredients like vanilla bean-infused sea salt and blackberry ginger beer.
Damian and Jason admit that they faced skepticism from their bar industry friends who doubted this craft cocktail concept could work in a high-volume bar. “Friends of ours have been pessimistic, ‘Oh, it’s not going to work,’” said Bran. “‘We tried to do mixology in our nightclub and it just didn’t take off.’” “The support wasn’t there from the top down [for them],” said Windsor. “This time the top is pushing the program so it’s for everybody else to fall in line between the top of the pyramid and us.”
As for the tableside service in lieu of the nightclub staple bottle service, it’s going to be hospitality driven with service provided by an attendant and their assistant, who will either make the cocktails there at the table or stand in the wings waiting to offer the guests any assistance when they want to make their own cocktails. “The concept derives from, when people see that, hopefully they’ll want to do that for themselves. ‘Hey, that looks fun, lemme make this drink for you.’ There’s that inner bartender in everybody, I think,” said Jason. “People are really enthusiastic about ice, they’re enthusiastic about making recipes. So we hope we create an environment that allows people to share an experience with others.”
Guests will be able to order from a list of tableside cocktails, which, on the menu, are categorized by spirit. For instance, for vodka, there are the “Strawberry Rickey” (fresh lime, fresh strawberry, soda water), “Moscow Mule,” and “Eastern Standard” (fresh lime, fresh cucumber, mint). Tequila offerings include the “Margarita” (fresh lime and agave nectar) and the Paloma (fresh grapefruit, fresh lime, agave, soda). The cocktail ingredients, along with your choice for brand of spirit, will be delivered tableside.
And in keeping with fresh ingredients, you won’t find the standard bottle service fare of flat sodas, canned juices and wet ice but Fever Tree sodas and Mexican Cokes as well as fresh fruit and housemade juices and Kold Draft ice. There’s even an ice sphere maker and soda siphons
to play with for a truly crafted cocktail experience.
“We’re going to take our knowledge and our capabilities and pre-package that into something that’s easy for you to share, easy for you to do, easy for you to enjoy. And if you want to take liberties by contributing other things to it, you’re more than welcome to,” said Bran.
“So it’s not a mixology experience. It’s like a bottle service/table service experience but with better options,” Damian clarified.
The market-driven cocktails will change seasonally. And there of course will be classic cocktails available with plans to add an Old Fashioned and Manhattan to the tableside offerings.
Here’s a peek at the current late summer menu. Bar cocktails are priced at $17 each.
Warwick Cup: Vodka, Pimm’s, strawberry, pineapple juice, lemon juice, soda
Kaffir Melon Cooler: gin, watermelon juice, kaffir lime (syrup), lime juice, pomegranate juice
Blackberry Buck: bourbon, house blackberry ginger beer (fresh lime, blackberry, ginger root, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg)
Spanish Bull: tequila, mezcal, Cointreau, orange juice, carrot juice
Coco Piña Fresca: rum, pineapple juice, lime, coconut foam, lime zest
Peach Cobbler: Hennessey vs, lemon juice, peach puree, maple syrup
Orange Royale: Cointreau, blood orange juice, prosecco (orange will change seasonally)
Tableside Cocktails (priced from $375 to $800 depending upon chosen spirit)
Strawberry Rickey*: fresh lime, fresh strawberry, soda water
Moscow Mule: fresh lime, fresh ginger root, soda water
Eastern Standard*: fresh lime, fresh cucumber, mint
*=Can be used with gin
Southside: fresh lemon, mint, soda
Kaffir Melon Cooler (on request only, not listed): fresh watermelon, kaffir lime, pomegranate
Mojito: fresh lime, mint, soda
Coco Piña Fresca: fresh pineapple, fresh lime, coconut foam
Margarita: fresh lime, agave nectar
Paloma: fresh grapefruit, fresh lime, agave, soda
Blackberry Buck: fresh blackberry, fresh lime, fresh ginger
Bellini: fresh blended peach
Warwick’s grand opening is this Saturday, and regular hours will be Wednesdays through Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Warwick, 6507 W Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 460-6667, warwickla.com.