The Other Side bar in Silver Lake closed last weekend, with fans bemoaning the loss of a longtime gay hangout and one of the city’s last piano bars. Now, the new owners – a trio of friends – is preparing to turn The Other Side and adjacent Flying Leap Cafe on Hyperion Avenue into a “community pub” with a “rough-luxe” vibe.
“Our first thought was a ‘Super Cool Restaurant and Dive Bar’ combo,'” said Speaks, one of the owners, in an email. “Sports Bar was on the table. Then better judgment kicked in and the thought of ‘labeling’ ourselves was just all kind of wrong.”
That’s how the group settled on the community pub concept called Hyperion Public.
In addition to Speaks, one of the original owners of The Den of Hollywood Bar and Restaurant on the Sunset Strip, the Hyperion Public partners include Akida Mashaka, owner of Hoagies and Wings, and film industry caterer Paddy Aubrey. Speaks and Mashaka had decided to team up and explore opening a spin off of Hoagies and Wings but decided to pursue a new concept when they discovered that the Other Side and Flying Leap were becoming available. “We’ve lived in and around here for a long time,” said Mashaka, who met his fellow partners while their kids attended the same preschool. “We see [Silver Lake] growing, changing … We want to be a part of that change. Hopefully make things better for the entire community for the future.”
Some members of the trio concede they were surprised by the disappointment many have expressed about the loss of another gay establishment. While Hyperion Public will not cater specifically to gays, everyone will be welcome.
“We are the community’s pub – gay, straight, Muslim, Jewish, Dervish, Sikh,” said Aubrey. The previous owner “spent a long time trying to find the right people. He had opportunities to sell before now, but he wanted people who cared about the neighborhood to breathe some new life into it.”
The new owners plan on making numerous changes to the interior, with a restaurant on the lower level, a classic lounge in the bar above and plans to open an outdoor deck for dining and drinks. Menu items will range from salads and healthy fare prepared with farmers’ market produce to comfort food ranging from fried chicken to mac ‘n’ cheese. Expect the bar to pour locally brewed beers and mix up spicy and traditional cocktails, wine and boozy punches.
Hyperion Public will not be a piano bar but live entertainment is planned, said Speaks.”We’re bringing live music, jazz, blues, lounge standards and even show tunes.”
Hyperion Public is expected to open in August.