New WeHo-Area Clubs and Restaurants Opening (But Not for Everyone)

The former Largo on Fairfax
The former Largo on Fairfax

WEHOville-area hipsters are familiar with the oddly named A Club Called Rhonda, a polysexual evening of music and fun that pops up everywhere from the Standard on Sunset in WeHo to Club Los Globos on Sunset in Silver Lake. Now open at 432 N. Fairfax Ave. near Rosewood is a club that could well be called “What The !?!” Actually, you can call it what you want because it has no name. And you won’t be able to get in the door without dialing first a highly secret phone number.

The club is being opened by Bryan Ling and Jordan Buky who at one point wanted to call it Community, apparently after Ling’s New Community Management in West Hollywood before apparently deciding that the community wasn’t welcome. Los Angeles magazine reports that the club, which occupies the former Largo space, is ” seeking to offer the hip street a CBGB-like live music experience.” Buky is one of the founders of Agency, another hip invitation-only venue above the Vanguard at 6021 Hollywood Blvd. at Gower that managed to stay open for about a year.

Perhaps more accessible is DBA, which opened to an invitation-only crowd Friday night at the former Voyeur space at 7969 Santa Monica Blvd. just east of Laurel. But DBA, whose proprietors are Voyeur’s Matt Bendik, and Cardiff Giant’s Beau Laughlin and Michael Jay, owners of the Churchill and the Hudson, will open to the public this coming Thursday. DBA is a mixture of gallery, performance space and club, with various “curators” programming the space for three-to-four months at a time. Simon Hammerstein, owner of the Box in New York City, is the first curator. According to Eater LA, Hammerstein’s programming will be “an NC-17 mash up of Cirque du Soleil meets orgy scene from Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.” Given that Hammerstein’s Box, a center for hip burlesque, earned a reputation for being one of the most difficult clubs in New York City for an ordinary Joe to get into, it’s not clear what it will take to cross the velvet rope. DBA, by the way, is that rare space that has a license for topless dancing.

Another nightclub impresario, Victor Drai, is opening what is expected to be an uber-hip restaurant at Sunset Plaza. The restaurant, at 8720 W. Sunset Blvd., will be in the space once occupied by BLT Steak. According to the LA Times Drai plans to have Rare by Drai open next month, with Patrick Florendo as chef. The menu will focus on steak and seafood. And there will be a DJ in the lounge.

Drai, also a movie producer (“The Woman in Red” and “Weekend at Bernie’s”) is the proprietor of nightclubs Drai’s in Hollywood and XS and Tryst in Las Vegas.

For those whose focus is more food than partying, Gracias Madre now plans to open early next year according to LA Eater. The Mexican vegan eatery, located at 8905 Melrose Ave. at Doheny, is the LA manifestation of a restaurant by the same name in San Francisco.