In the past decade, Los Angeles has steam-plowed to the forefront of the independent music scene, the craft beverage scene, and the food truck scene (which many would argue we in fact created). But until now, no single venue in the city has successfully brought all three together.
Say hello to Resident, a new industrial-style space that houses an intimate live performance area, an Austin-style beer garden, a cocktail program by Randy Tarlow of Liquid Alchemy, and a rotating line-up of food trucks. Housed in an Arts District warehouse owned by longtime residents Tim Kreihbel and Bridget Vagedes—they bought the building in 2000—Resident seeks to provide the city with a long-overdue venue that’s low-key, accommodating, and innovative.
Larry Little, Resident’s music director, says that he’s been tossing around an idea like this with local architect Jacek Ostoya for years.
“Jacek and I…started imagining how great it would be for L.A. to have a proper beer garden with a live music option,” he says. “We both had lived in San Francisco, and were regulars at a placed called Zeitgeist, and we felt Los Angeles needed something in this spirit. We just wanted to marry our love for live music and hanging out with friends with a place we could enjoy some tasty beverages, and there you have Resident.”
Resident’s three main areas are cozy. The indoor performance space is comfortable and inviting, with plenty of seating and tables. Outside, the beer garden is furnished with picnic tables, string lights and succulent gardens, and a retrofitted Spartan trailer serves as the outdoor bar.
The musical focus will be on a carefully curated line-up. Mystery Skulls and Wes Period will play the opening tonight. Next year, the space will have residencies with Brainstory and Andrew St. James, as well as shows from Sarah Neufeld (of Arcade Fire), Blanck Mass, and more.
Because the venue will have income from its food and beverage lineup, Little, who is working together with Duncan Smith (formerly of Spaceland Productions), can be more selective about music. The setup “allows us to not have intense pressure on having every show a blowout, like a traditional venue,” says Little. “We get to take our time and curate artists that we believe in, and provide a platform for young acts with small and growing profiles. [We’ll be] able to take risks based on our belief in their talent and build a reputation within the music community.”
Resident feels like a natural extension of the area, thanks in large part to the strong influence Kreihbel and Vagedes had on its design. Their main hope, Kreihbel says, is to spread some of the love that brought them to the Arts District in the first place.
“We are part of a group of people who came to this area to do our own thing,” he says. “As the context of the neighborhood has changed, we saw this venture as an opportunity to share some of that spirit with all those that will be here going forward.”