The Westside just got a major upgrade in the sports bar department. The Nickel Mine, a casual concept from the team behind Cocina Condesa and The Woodsman, fills a much-needed void in a neighborhood that is known as Little Osaka or the Sawtelle District or plain old West Los Angeles.
Located on Santa Monica Boulevard, in the former Il Grano space, in an area heavily occupied by young professionals, the recently opened hot spot has quickly become the go-to place for craft beer pints, whisky flights, pub grub and big-screen sports.
The spacious bar and lounge is another masterpiece from established restaurant designer, David Maman, who has populated the space with reclaimed wood, polished leather armchairs and booths, and covered the exposed brick walls with more than 20 flat-screen plasma TVs, which provides a playoff atmosphere every night. In addition, there’s an elegant library and a collection of board games to enjoy during the pregame anticipation.
The bar boasts more than 50 kinds of whiskey from around the world (including some from right here in California), as well as a thoughtfully curated selection of craft beers and some fundamental cocktails. Bites include the classics: New York-style pizza by the slice, a few types of wings, garlic knots, even some salads.
The Nickel Mine, says GM Travis Eichensehr, “will serve as a boutique yardhouse perfect for watching the game, date night or grabbing a New York-style pie to go.”
The service is good, featuring a friendly and knowledgeable staff. The crowd is that rare combination of relaxed but simultaneously enthusiastic. The Nickel Mine is the sort of joint that you really don’t need the exact address, the vibe provides a beacon for several blocks. It’s the gravitational center of the neighborhood.
So Uber down, drink up…and maybe even score. Cheers.