Back in 1998, TBL designed the expansion and revamp of Mark’s Restaurant at 861 North La Cienega Boulevard. Owners Chris Diamond and Wayne Elias became good friends. The food was delicious, the service first-rate and the scene was fun and diverse.
We were really disappointed to learn in 2009 that they were leaving that space for larger digs in Los Feliz – but happy to be asked to help design the new rear bar and terraces for the new restaurant, at the old Sarno Pastry Shop at 1714 N. Vermont Avenue. They named the new place Rockwell Bar in tribute to the Vermont painter, Norman Rockwell. I was especially excited to design the intimate special-events bar on the upper terrace. They asked us to channel Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson…that’s right…in a bar! Our research started with images of 1800s apothecaries (where we quickly saw the connection between spirits and remedies).
But the coolest part of the assignment is to experience the downstairs entertainment. The Rockwell: Table & Stage is a supper club featuring live music every night. With Chef Wayne’s smart cuisine and a dynamic crowd, it’s always something to talk about.
Recent offerings have been Corbin Bleu (“High School Musical” and Ashley Argota (“The Fosters”) as the leads in “Romeo & Juliet: Love is a Battlefield”, a new spin on Shakespeare’s classic tale energized with the hard rocking music of 1980s icon Pat Benatar.
Or Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair in a mini Cruel Intentions reunion at the Cruel Intentions musical at the Rockwell, which is just as awesome as it sounds.
And get this: Jeff Goldblum plays jazz on Wednesday nights. I’m not kidding. He’s been playing jazz piano with his band, The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra for years. It’s a superb show.
Check it out! You’ll love the food, have a great evening…and hopefully you’ll get to see our upstairs bar.
Photos by Laura Hull Photography