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Silo Vodka Bar Coming To The Haas Building Next March

By David Markland
Published: Wednesday, November 03, 2010, at 02:34PM
Silo Rendering MDM Builders

This rendering of the under-construction Silo vodka bar shows the two-level design planned for the Haas Building space.

Josh Gray-Emmer thinks you should know a few things about vodka. So much in fact that when he opens the Silo vodka bar next March, a Periodic Table of Vodka will be on the wall, “to help the guests learn a little bit more about the products they’re drinking.”

There are only a few components that differentiate vodka products, he says. “What it’s made from, how many times it’s filtered, how it’s distilled, and what proof it is.” He also says that vodka tastes better when it’s being drunk not just cold, but in the cold. And to prove it, Silo will offer guests a fur coat and invite them into a walk-in freezer for a tasting.

“It’s traditional,” he says of the experience, noting that Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood and Nic’s Martini Lounge in Beverly Hills have been doing this. “When vodka is cooled it softens the flavor.”

While the freezer experience will be for the more premium vodka tastings, anyone ordering four or more of their “very affordable shots” will have them served on a block of ice along with a variety of tasters, such as Himalayan sea salt.

Guests may be in for an education, but Gray-Emmer insists that he intends for Silo to be accessible and friendly to Downtowners. The 88-seat lounge on the ground floor of the Haas Building at 7th and Broadway will have a patio that can be seen from the street, and will also encompass a second, mezzanine level.

Gray-Emmer says he and his co-partners all “wanted to do something that unique to to Los Angeles,” and noted that while vodka continues to be the most popular spirit sold at bars, Downtown lacks a vodka bar.

“A lot of mixology is going on - Cedd Moses has a corner on that,” he says, then explains how Silo’s “infusion” drinks will be different.

“Mixology” is when a bartender creates a drink behind the bar as it is ordered, when you craft individual drinks. Infusion drinks are pre-mixed. At Silo, this will mean combining the vodka with other ingredients like cherries and fruit spices in a larger glass container, then serving them the next day from the spout.

Gray-Emmer and Stephanie Estes, his business partner at AP Consulting, will be inviting locals to taste test 40 to 50 vodka infusions they design ahead of Silo’s opening.

By the time guests leave Silo, Gray-Emmer hopes their taste buds will be worked from end to end, with vodka infusions that run from “habanero to cucumber,” starting spicy and making their way to sweet, salty and cool.

Silo’s investors, collectively known as Group 7, are all providing what Gray-Emmer refers to as “sweat equity.”

Haas Building manager Julian Colker and chiropractor Dr. Boris Mayzel, who practices out of the building, are obtaining the liquor license and other permits, and will handle accounts payable and receivables when the lounge opens. Attorney Brian Urtnowski will be providing legal services, and the buildout is being done by brothers David and Michael Librush of MDM Builders.

For their part, Gray-Emmer and Estes will serve as general managers and be responsible for branding, design and marketing, and Estes will also run a regular DJ night that will have a local flair.

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