Bar CDMX is a bonafide love letter to Mexico City in the form of Downtown Los Angeles’ newest nightlife destination.
Brought to you by the Pouring With Heart hospitality group (the all-star team behind buzzy bars All Season Brewing Co, Arts District Brewing Co., The Normandie Club and more), Bar CDMX celebrates the music, art, and subculture of Ciudad de México in a secret basement bar. After a short soft opening, the bar officially opened to the public on Aug. 31, and now will be open every day from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m..
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Located below the iconic Seven Grand in Downtown LA (another Pouring With Heart concept), red lettering on a neon sign reads, “Bar CDMX” and a glowing pair of broken spectacles allude to the bar’s mantra, “What you can’t see can’t hurt you,” beckoning passersby to discover the party that buzzes hidden below the surface. Believing some of the best things are best left to be discovered, guests descend into the subterranean bar to be welcomed into its warm embrace.
Designed by friend of the Pouring With Heart group, Jared Meisler (Roger Room, Bar Lubitsch, The Little Friend) Bar CDMX draws from the architecture of the city capitol, carrying all of the visual cues of Mexico City.
“We wanted to create the feeling of finding a bar hiding, tucked away in Mexico City,” explains Meisler. “Bar CDMX is in the basement of a 100 year old building, inheriting beautiful elements.”
Throughout the 3,090 square foot space, the concrete walls and columns have the perfect patina that can only be achieved over 100 years, accented by art prints by Mexico based graffiti artist, Beo Hake. As a dark bar with earthy elements, simple wood booths and stools contrast with ornate Victorian woodwork, reflecting the story of Mexico and the influence of its independence.
Surrounded by plants, the pool table cracks away, Spanish language versions of classic arcade games glow in the corner (think Ms. Pacman, Gauntlet, Donkey Kong and the like), the cocktails are beautiful, and rock en español grooves guests into the night.
Inspired by the team’s personal experiences living and traveling through Latin America, Bar CDMX is a project years in the making that aims to echo the iconic Mexico City nightlife. Having grown up in Oaxaca and spending time throughout his life in Mexico City himself, Lead Bartender Dante Chavez is a strong proponent of how special the city is and is eager to bring an authentic taste of CDMX to Los Angeles.
“While visiting Mexico City during Tales of the Cocktail, we spent evenings exploring the popular watering holes,” says General Manager Travis Baetz recalls. “Whether sipping concoctions with still burning cinnamon sticks at Xaman Bar or enjoying way too much Mezcal at my personal favorite, El Palenquito, we were met with such a rich warmth of welcoming that was so refreshing to experience.”
He continued, “It’s that same warmth and electrifying energy that we want to bring home to Los Angeles to help spread the culture and beauty that is CDMX.”
The cocktail menu—inspired by the freshness of ingredients found in Mexico City—is refreshing and fruit forward with a focus on rum and agave based spirits, as well as whiskeys typically found in Mexico. Drawing from the hospitality groups’ strength, the cocktail menu was curated with assistance from folks at Las Perlas, Pouring With Heart’s WeHo mezcal bar, and Caña, Pouring With Heart’s Rum Bar.
With fresh ingredients and house-made juices throughout, menu highlights include draft cocktails like a Mezcal Paloma and Tropic Thunder, with Blackpool spiced rum, .5 orgeat, pineapple, lemon and ginger, and “Clasicos” like a Mango Mezcal Margarita, with Los Vecinos mezcal, mango, lime and agave, and Carajillo, with Liquor 43 and cold brew coffee, Pineapple Caipirinha and more.
Caribbean and Latin beers will be served in addition to beers sourced from Pouring With Heart’s locally owned breweries. Bar CDMX will also offer daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. with $2 off cocktails and beer.
Bar CDMXN515 W 7th St., Los Angeles@barcdmx.la
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