Future home of Sunset Beer

Highland Park  —Seven years after Sunset Beer opened up a store and tasting room in Echo Park, owner John Nugent is preparing to expand to York Boulevard. The concept is basically the same but the Highland Park Sunset Beer will be bigger than the original and could include a complementary restaurant.

Nugent has filed an application with the Planning Department to open a nearly 2,600-square-foot beer and wine bar with a tasting room and patio in what are now vacant storefronts at the corner of York Boulevard and Avenue 56. Nugent is also seeking permission to host live entertainment at the site.

Nugent and business partners Drew Von Ah and Jenna Miller Von Ah have been looking to open a new beer and wine bar in Highland Park for four years now. They even began lease negotiations at a handful of locations but those deals fell through.

“I’m really excited and happy that we finally found the right building,” said Nugent, who lives near the York Boulevard storefront. “We are expanding to HLP because it is a diverse, vibrant community that is close to our hearts.”

Here’s how he describes the concept for his new endeavor:

“This will be the same model as Sunset Beer in Echo Park with half the space devoted to retail beer and wine, and half to our taproom, but it will be about a third bigger. We will also have a couple cold rooms which we don’t have in Echo Park. This will allow us to expand our tap offering and, eventually, offer keg purchases to our customers. We will also have a dedicated parking lot and a patio off the back of the bar. There is also an attached, small building that borders our patio, and we are working with a restaurant partner that would be complementary to our business. We can’t name that partner yet as the deal is not finalized.”

Nugent said Sunset Beer in Echo Park will remain as it is.

He is planning to open the Highland Park Sunset Beer in the first quarter of 2019 if he secures all the necessary approvals.

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