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L.A. bar impresario Jared Meisler has spent 15 years running some of the entertainment community’s key watering holes. In addition to such spots as Bar Lubitsch, The Roger Room and The Little Friend, he’s also now a partner in Venice’s beloved The Brig (above), which recently reopened after a renovation. He spoke with THR about the state of nightlife as summer kicks off.
How has the local nightlife industry reckoned with COVID-19 closures?
The pandemic has been tough for every business, but for us, it’s just been insane — incredibly brutal. Even during the Depression, bars were allowed to stay open. For our employees, it’s been the toughest time.
With full reopening here, do operators believe they’re out of the woods?
Everyone still seems to be holding their breath, waiting to see if federal assistance will come through, whether through Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants or Shuttered Venue Operators Grants. Some places may be open, but they’re just hanging on.
Do you expect a post-lockdown boom?
The Roaring ’20s thing everyone’s talking about seems likely. But it’s hard to predict how long it’ll actually last. I do think this summer will be unlike any we’ve ever had, from the high end to the dives.
Might the pandemic lead to any trends?
Sleepy places have had their day. People are going to want to go out where others are — they’ll want excitement. High-energy, rambunctious places will be popular. “Festive” is the word. — GARY BAUM
Interview edited for length and clarity.
This story first appeared in the June 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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