Storefront Report: New owners take over Silver Lake’s El Conquistador

New restaurant in the works for the former El Conquistador.

All that remains of  El Conquistador, the Silver Lake Mexican restaurant that closed last December after 40 years in business, is the outline of its sign on the side of its former Sunset Boulevard home. What’s going to replace El Conquistador? You will have to ask Dustin Lancaster and Tyler Bell of Silver Lake’s  L&E Oyster Bar.  The business partners are taking over the space, according to Eater L.A.

Lancaster, who along with Bell is applying for an alcohol license for the property, would not say what his group has in mind for El Conquistador but said chef Spencer Bezaire is working on the menu.

Lancaster  has been busy on the restaurant and bar scene, having opened Bar Covell in Los Feliz and taking over the former Hermosillo Bar in Highland Park.


  1. Really exciting to see Dustin take over. He’s an experienced operator and his spaces are some of the nicest, most popular spots in the area. Looking forward to seeing what kind of concept they come in with.

  2. It’s so surreal that a really popular restaurant couldn’t afford to stay in business at this location and now there’s another one. It’s unproven and to match the level of business that El Conquistador brought in is a tough feat.

    I don’t ‘get’ business sometimes!

    • If an owner is not sophisticated and actively participating, employees can steal even a very successful restaurant to bankruptcy… it is more common than you would believe. Everything from undercharging “friends” for drinks or meals to outright theft of goods -even furniture- from stores (I owned a business in a similar industry for a while). I watched a good SL pizzeria close down recently and the waitstaff consistently “forgot” to charge me for expensive items (usually this is an attempt to get better tips). Sad really, I think it’s what usually kills mom and pop operations if they are popular….

  3. Good. Gentrify the heck out of Silver Lake. It will force all those aging hipsters who don’t like being called hipsters out of town. They can all move to Bell Gardens hopefully en mass. There, they can remind each other how cool they are. At least that would be far enough away so that we don’t have to see them any longer. I can’t wait for Starbucks to move in.

    • Ah, I think you have things backwards. Thee hipsters tend to be the younger set. And they can afford the places you speak about — they’re the ones these places are gearing to.

    • I’m tired of the term “hipster”. I came up with “tats and hats”, as in “this place is being taken over by the ‘tats and hats’ crowd.

  4. Sad to see El Conquistador go as I have many many fun memories there and oh my those margis…but I’m looking forward to seeing Dustin’s new creation.

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