R.I.P. – MacLeod Ale Brewing Company

There were some troubling signs from MacLeod Ale Brewing Company in recent days but today the hammer came down as they announced the closure of both the original Van Nuys brewing operation and the just recently opened satellite pizza and bar in Highland Park.

The reasons cited for the closures:

1] We’re over budget in several categories
2] We have too much debt due to expansion
3] Sudden crash of sales [down 15% in Oct, 21% in November! Bad timing!]
4] Our 2nd location opened too late and is underperforming.

You have to be a risk taker to brew beer commercially and you also need angel investors to backstop when good bets go wrong. Hopefully a new chapter can emerge from the brewery and it employees.

Tonight and Tonight and Tonight

It is hot here in SoCal but we gotta stout up, eve in the triple digits, so Highland Park Brewery has us covered.

“Tonight Tonight Tonight is an 11% ABV imperial stout with coconut & vanilla. This beer is thiccc! The amount of coconut & vanilla in this beer will have you thinking you’re drinking a Mounds Bar with each sip.”

A Highland Park Fling

You may remember Maximilliano, the restaurant that was an interesting an unofficial Craftsman Brewing outlet. That concept closed but the next tenant will keep the restaurant with a side of beer theme.

MacLeod Ales will be taking over the space and hope to open this time next year. Their pizza business next door to their Van Nuys brewery was a great success and now they will try to replicate it.

Barcade HP

Today marks the opening of the Retro arcade with beer, wine, cocktails, food and Mead too! I saw my favorite Star Wars game from waaaay back in the day in one of the photos of the brick walled space and can’t wait to head over and see what beers are on tap. Will see if Barcade brings an A beer game.

The Backyard

If you want to say backyard in German, then you say: Hinterhof.  It is also what you say when you want to go to a Germanic all-vegan restaurant with beer in Highland Park.  

The spot had a start date of January 5th on the York Boulevard portion of HP.  There is an outdoor patio for outdoor drinking from the 12 local tap choices, plus beer from abroad (hopefully German like say, Kloster Andechs. A re-influx of foreign beer would be quite welcome.

Sunset II

So in perusing Facebook during a work break, I saw this piece of news….

An already beer stuffed York Boulevard is getting even MORE! Sunset Beer is expanding to Highland Park bringing their curated bottles/cans and taps.

Last Month on Food GPS

For those of you who haven’t noticed, my writing on Food GPS has morphed from once a week to now every other week or so. The pieces are a little longer, the format is a bit different, a bit of a refresh for 2018.

So if you missed March entirely, here you go…

# 1 – Coolships in Los Angeles. READ
# 2 – Food Halls and Craft Beer. READ
# 3 – Highland Park Brewery in Chinatown. READ

Barcade to Land in Highland Park


We here in L.A. already have Button Mash for that potent mix of classic arcade games plus good beer and now the venerable name Barcade is planning to venture west from their East Coast hub.

The planned Barcade will be on York in hipster Highland Park. Further details when they become available.

The Greyhound


Arriving with my Mom in tow and with mere minutes to spare before the close of Happy Hour at the Greyhound, a new craft beer, wine and cocktail bar in Highland Park (near the big Highland Theater sign), I order up a Cismontane Blacks Dawn and a salad.  The total for me: $8.

Once you slap yourself for being too late to order a second round, you realize the place is loud.  Really loud.  With ebbs and flows as the pulsing music finishes one song and people don’t have to scream over the music until the next song comes back on.

The decor is nice and so is the tap list.  On the night of my visit they had a goodly number of solid choices along with a rotating duo of hoppy selections.  I would put it solidly in the B category.  It isn’t one of those lists that has a nod to craft which is what I call D, nor is it the national easy choices of a C.  I will re-visit and see if that grade is fair when another set of beers goes on tap but it is good though not as strong as Maximiliano or the Hermosillo.

I wasn’t a fan of the decibels though it didn’t bother my mom a whit.  That is what happy hour prices can do.