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Pancakes And Booze: Serving Art with a Side of Breakfast

Matt Hamilton |
December 9, 2012 | 4:23 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

More than 2,500 people came to the Pancakes and Booze Art Show, held at Lot 613. Photo by Matt Hamilton.
More than 2,500 people came to the Pancakes and Booze Art Show, held at Lot 613. Photo by Matt Hamilton.

It’s the biggest steal in town.

For just a $5 cover, you get art, unlimited pancakes, live music and a (cash) bar.

What more could you want?

It’s all at the Pancakes and Booze Art Show, which on Saturday concluded its latest Los Angeles installment, where the work of 120 artists was displayed over two nights.

More than 2,500 people showed up for what’s billed as L.A.’s largest underground party. The show, now in its fourth year, was held at Lot 613, a warehouse space on the border between downtown and Boyle Heights.

Along with walls loaded with art, both nights featured live body painting by Jamie Graden, and nine bands performed, including The Open Feel, Rubberneck Lions and That Noise.

“The warehouse style is ghetto, but the crowd is great,” Johnny Burkes said, lead singer of That Noise. Despite the ‘underground’ billing, live music and copious alcohol, the crowd was respectful.

“When you put art on the walls, it brings a really great vibe,” said P&B founder and organizer Tom Kirin.

Burkes agreed and added that the art – and pancakes – go a long way towards keeping everyone in check.

“I always feel comfortable around art, especially art like this that pushes buttons and takes chances,” Burkes said.

Artists displaying their work included Mark Korgan, Juan Lopez, Jr., Nychole Owens and Jason Miracle.

Silkscreen artist Bung Wan Kin said this is the second time he’s featured his works at the Pancakes and Booze Art Show.

“I didn’t sell any,” said Kin, “but I traded some art with other artists.”

Kin wasn’t disappointed and instead praised the venue . The last time he exhibited, P&B was held at a place in West Adams, but Kin said Lot 613 is brighter and bigger, especially since the outdoor lot allows for on-site painting, room for smokers, and of course, a place to cook all those pancakes.

Pancakes were made-to-order, with toppings like blueberries, strawberries, bananas and chocolate chips. Lines were long but moved fast – and as one approached, the scent of clove cigarettes gave way to that of maple syrup.

The Pancakes and Booze concept started when founder Kirin, 34, was working as a cameraman in Culver City and renting out a warehouse that he owned.

“I was doing film and photo shoots there, and looking for additional uses,” Kirin said.

Kirin said that since his college years, he always wanted to open a restaurant.

“I went to school in Arizona, where the only restaurant open after a night of partying was an IHOP,” Kirin said.

He blended the gallery concept with his affinity for breakfast eateries – and the Pancakes and Booze Art Show was born.

“I did it once a month, and it caught on,” Kirin said.

Since 2009, the show has expanded to 13 cities, including San Francisco, San Diego, Denver, Atlanta, Portland, Dallas and Austin. Last month, Pancakes and Booze debuted in Miami, and Kirin has plans to open up in Chicago, Brooklyn, Boston and New Orleans.

“People are a little skeptical when I call,” said Kirin about expanding into new cities. “I’m just this guy in L.A. who wants to put on an art show in their city.”

For more information, visit www.pancakesandbooze.com.

E-mail Matt Hamilton here and follow him on Twitter here.



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