soft spirits exterior

Here’s your rundown of Eastside dining and shopping news.

A bottle shop for the sober and "sober curious"

Jillian Barkley wanted to create a place where customers could discover a new way of drinking spirits, beers and cocktails -- without alcohol.

On Saturday, Barkley will put her concept to the test when she opens the doors to Soft Spirits. It's a nonalcoholic bottle shop in Silver Lake for the sober and those who she describes as the “sober curious.” That would also include those who are pregnant, allergic or avoid alcohol for religious and other reasons.

Soft Spirits, described as a LA’s first non alcoholic bottle shop, will sell everything from prebatched cocktails and dealcoholized wines to botanical spritzes and other types of spirit alternatives. (Barkley emphasizes that the Soft Spirits is a store, not a bar where you can sit down for a drink.)

“The [non-alcoholic] category has exploded in the last 2 years and I wanted to create a central hub where folks could explore, ask questions,” said Barkley. “I hope this shop will provide valuable resources for anyone looking to change their relationship with alcohol while still being able to participate in the ritual of enjoying a great drink.”

In other dining and drinking news:

After being closed for most of the pandemic, the Brite Spot reopened its doors in Echo Park this week under new ownership. Stuart Weisfeld also owns Burbank favorite Lancers Family Restaurant. But the Brite Spot, which has been around since 1949, will retain its name and have a different menu featuring Cheesecake Factory-like huge portions, said general managing partner Lance Corralez.

Corralez -- who has worked as a chef and executive chef at several restaurants, including Taix across the street -- said he resisted duplicating Lancers' huge menu. Instead, the Brite Spot menu offers fewer dishes, healthier options but “still has the diner feel,” he said. That translates into corned beef hash and a patty melt as well as a Portobello sandwich and a quinoa bowl.

The City of Los Angeles will require proof of vaccination to entire any business with indoor facilities, including restaurants, starting the first week of November. The mandate, passed on Wednesday morning by the city council, is currently one of the strictest vaccine mandates in the country. 

Atwater Village’s Morihiro earned its first Michelin star rating this year, reports The Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Times also published a review of the restaurant at the end of July. 

DineLA, the local restaurant week special, will run from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15. Over 250 restaurants are offering special deals, with many located on the Eastside. Some restaurants include Atwater Village’s Tam O’Shanter, Boyle Heights’ Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co., Eagle Rock’s Malbec Market, Echo Park’s Amaro and Cosa Buona, Highland Park’s Cafe Birdie, Los Feliz’s MESSHALL Kitchen, and Silver Lake’s All Day Baby, Bar Restaurant, Marco Polo, Same Same Thai and Sunset Sushi. 

Echo Park’s Monty’s Good Burger is celebrating the fall season with a limited-time plant-based fall-inspired milkshake. The Havok Harvest Shake features vanilla soft-serve and pumpkin puree and is topped with whipped cream and pie crust. Each purchase also gives back to Farm Sanctuary, an animal activism organization based in Los Angeles and New York. 

The Bad Jew, Little Fish and Kae Whalen are inviting diners into their home in Echo Park for an intimate dining experience on Friday, Oct. 8. Tickets are available for a 6:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. seating of a four-course meal and beverages by the glass. 

Moos’ Craft Barbeque in Lincoln Heights was featured in L.A. Magazine’s Three New and Notable L.A. Restaurants to Try in October and The Infatuation's L.A. Hit List: The Best New Restaurants in Los Angeles. The former pop-up and Smorgasburg vendor has a brick-and-mortar location on North Broadway.

Victor Heights' Eastside Italian Deli will open an additional location in Los Feliz after 92 years in business, reports Eater LA. The original storefront has been in operation since 1929, and the Angiuli family has owned and operated the restaurant since 1959. They told Eater LA that they hope the new location will carry the legacy of the original and appeal to new customers as well. 

Neighborhood Restaurants & Businesses

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Jessica Doherty is a writer and editor. She currently is an executive editor for USC’s Annenberg Media and the editor in chief of digital arts and culture magazine Ampersand LA. For more about her, visit

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