SHOREBar Opens in Santa Monica: A Marriage of Class and Community
USC grads John Terzian and Brian Toll of h.wood.group have already made a name for themselves in the high profile nightclub world of West Hollywood, but recently these hospitality entrepreneurs have decided to try something a little different—something a little more relaxed. Their newest hangout, SHOREbar, located near the beachfront between Santa Monica and Malibu, is small and unassuming and geared almost entirely toward serving the local community.
Most of the bars along the waterfront cater to visiting beachgoers and have more of a dive bar feel to them, but Terzian and Toll, both Los Angeles natives, saw that there were very few places actually geared toward serving the people who lived in the area.
“Our goal is to really be a community bar, I mean we want to be here for ever,” says SHOREbar manager and partner Adam Koral. The group came up with the idea for a smaller place that could blend the high quality cocktails of the mixology world with a space that still kept an informal ‘beachy’ feel to it.
The result is a place that blends Cape Cod cool with west coast class. Koral, who studied marketing and finance at LeHigh University before returning home to Los Angeles to train at Le Cordon Bleu, is no stranger to the New England scene.
“I spent a lot of summers with friends I had, in Nantucket and Atlantic City, which isn’t the nicest town but it does have that old-school, beachy feel. You go there and you’ll see these blue stripes and that white wood everywhere and it really was an inspiration when we were designing SHORE.”
The bar does have a distinctly coastal feel to it. Designed by Rosetta Getty and inspired by local seaside haunts such as Jonathan Beach Club Shutters Hotel, it features a wall of cozy booths on one side and a well stocked bar on the other. The members room upstairs is designed to feel like a den with a TV, living room type furniture, floor lamps, a small satellite bar, a small patio, and lockers for members to store their belongings in.
“It’s all about designing a place the right way and having the right people there,” says Terzian. “As we started developing the décor of the place we found ourselves going with a much more nautical theme than we expected, but we decided to go with it. Everything on the walls, pictures, artwork, is all vintage from the area.”
Each booth has its own personality based on the décor—Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, Catalina Island—and is identified by a vintage map paired with a photo of the actual place.
The cocktails, meticulously crafted by mixologist Vincenzo Marianella, continue the theme with drinks like ‘Campanula Shore,’ ‘Baywatch,’ and ‘Dark and Stormy.
Koral’s culinary background plays a surprisingly intimate role in cocktail creation as well.
“I shop every Wednesday at the farmer’s market for the ingredients that go into these drinks, so some of the drinks are based on what’s in season—tonight it’s loquat and passionfruit,” says Koral.
Prior to working for h.wood.group, Koral worked as a culinary artist at the high-end French restaurant, Melisse, where the head chef emphasized the importance of selecting fresh, local produce and that training has carried over into the drinks at SHOREbar.
“Basically I’m creating four-star dishes with alcohol in them,” says Koral.
The passion the h.wood.group guys have toward creating their various projects has played a major role in their success. Already SHOREbar has attracted the attention of celebrities, including Katy Perry, who, according to People magazine, was there just last weekend for a friend’s birthday gathering.
SHOREbar, located at 112 W. Channel Rd. in Santa Monica,opened to the public on Saturday.
Reach Reporter Whitney Bratton here.