With so much hubbub happening daily in the LA nightclub and bar scene, Chad Weiner, previously of Viper Room, Pink Taco and Hard Rock Hotel to name a few, decided to start a new concept – a neighborhood gastro pub that will stay put, if he has his way, for the next 20 years. No thrills or big splash at State Social House, prominently located on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. Just pizza, meatballs, a cigar bar, TVs and plenty of spirits and entertainment to keep patrons coming back again and again…and again.
“We want the atmosphere to feel comfortable yet elegant – a home away from home for the neighborhood,” says Weiner, the managing director of State Social House. “It’s designed to outlive the shelf life of the latest and greatest club that lasts 6 months, gets new owners, is renovated and opens up again as the next big hot spot. Here, we want to make lasting friendships with our regulars.”
Weiner is no stranger to the nightlife madness, having experienced the scene first-hand in New York City, LA and Las Vegas. And he does admit that if you can handle it, it’s where the money’s at. “Take Vegas, for example. When you’ve got an 8,000 person hotel above your head, it’s really not that difficult to captive your audience. When you’re a free standing establishment, it’s a challenge to maintain your clientele.”
So how does Weiner plan to tackle this obstacle and keep State Social afloat indefinitely? By bringing in the big guns like head Chef Vernon Cardenas and Mixologist Alex Heines, who mixes up concoctions like Sunset Strip (Don Julio anejo tequila, mint, sugar, grapefruit and fresh lime) or the Thai’d Up (Akvinta Vodka, strawberry, balsamic vinegar, basil and lemon). The cigar bar in the backroom provides the only establishment in the city where you can smoke and drink on the same premises. In an effort to steer clear of big name DJs and the celebrity scene, Weiner has set up an eclectic array of programing for just about every night – including karaoke nights, a piano bar, jam sessions, comedy shows, sing-alongs, song writer nights and local DJs. And for those sports lovers, the NFL package is set in place for Sundays and UFC fights bring in a decent crowd as well.
“We like to think of ourselves as bringing a little less Hollywood to Hollywood, for all of those who just want a night off to relax, have fun and make friends. Our atmosphere is welcoming and we treat everyone right.”
Moral of the story: the rat race of nightclubs and bars works for some, but there’s room for a marathon too, like this gastro pub…if you do it right.