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Checklist: Mignon Wine and Cheese Bar

By Miles Cotton and Kelli Richardson
Published: Thursday, December 01, 2011, at 06:05PM
Mignon Wine Bar Michael Robleto

Checklist is a bi-weekly series about Downtown restaurants and bars both old and new that highlights local establishments that succeed in marrying efficient service, quality food, and excellent overall value.

Story

After the launch and growth of Bacaro wine bar on Union near the USC campus, proprietor Santos Uy turned his attention to a burgeoning Downtown L.A. Fifteen months after opening the doors at Mignon, Uy's wine and cheese bar is now an established member of Downtown's growing food and beverage scene. The question is, in less than ideal economic times, how has he become a Downtown L.A. success story?

Quotes

Santos attributes Mignon’s success to "a niche offering with an older and more sophisticated clientele." While Mignon’s early growth has not been quite as brisk as his previous experience with Bacaro, its base is solid. ”We have a strong group of loyal regulars that love us." He attributes the loyal following to his use of simple, high quality ingredients: “Make sure you love your product and don’t sell out quality for a buck. People can tell.” And those happy customers talk. “New customers find us mostly by word of mouth and we haven’t done much traditional marketing . . . except for a Groupon several months ago.”

Santos aims to keep things interesting by offering different fun, social events at Mignon. “We recently started doing afternoon parties on the last Sunday each month. From 3-5pm, we have open bar, cheese, charcuterie, and French sandwiches for $20 per person. It was a hit [in November]”.

Food/Beverage:

A unique variety of European wine selections and inventive small plates make Mignon a destination built for repeat visits. The horseshoe bar and open galley give the small bar an intimate feel, as if you’re standing in your host’s kitchen at a dinner party.

Service

Service is friendly and accommodating. With eighteen seats and a maximum of two employees (server and cook) in this micro establishment, Mignon is best enjoyed when you have time to relax, enjoy the wine and admire the thoughtful food preparation and presentation.

Value

Mignon’s value proposition shines brightest during Happy Hour Monday through Saturday, from 5-7 p.m. and all day Sunday (5-midnight). Wine and small plate selections for $5 give patrons the ability to order a variety of choices without breaking the bank.

Mignon / 128 E. 6th / Hours: Sun-Sat 5pm–12am / 213-489-0131 / mignonla.com

Miles and Kelli are Downtown residents with a combined 20 years in food and beverage operations. Miles is a Los Angeles native who works in commercial real estate brokerage and development, with a focus on repurposing historic structures in jeopardy for food and nightlife uses. Kelli is a Los Angeles transplant from Oregon via Alabama and is the managing director for an L.A. area restaurant group. Both love the discovery of new food, drinks and venues, especially when they offer a unique patron experience and great value.

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