There are certain city blocks of this bustling, zoom-by city that easily keep a foot in two worlds. Fairfax Avenue north of Beverly does, with its kosher bakeries and streetwear scene, and Main Street in Santa Monica, too, which feels beachy and haute and vintage all at once.
Figueroa Boulevard's beautiful character can be seen in the history of one short Highland Park stretch, from popular pupuserias to the punk'd-out Mr. T's Bowl to the Highland Theatre and its iconic roof sign.
Welcome, to all of that, The Greyhound Bar & Grill. The new neighborhood bar sits just a pop down the road from the Highland, and its mission isn't a complicated one: Serve crafty brews and tasty food for people who want to hangout and watch a game or catch up with friends they haven't seen for a few.
Bells and whistles? Nope. And that's the end of that.
What The Greyhound does boast is a looong line of taps, so lengthy that the word "long" must contain extra letters to encompass its breadth. Moose Drool Brown Ale, Allagash Tripel, Strand Brewing Company, and St. Bernardus are among the suds on the libation line-up.
As for the mixed drink end of this ship? Mateo's Greyhound is Plymouth Gin and grapefruit juice fresh from an actual grapefruit. A little bit extra but well worth it? A shot of spicy Fernet.
Meaty sandwiches like the pastrami-loaded Perlmuter, finger-grabbable noshes, and other brew-friendly foodstuffs round out the sustenance end of the situation.
Mateo's Greyhound, by the by, is a tip of the hat -- or is that collar & leash? -- to the bar's honcho, Mateo Glassman. Mr. Glassman ultimately decided he wanted to land on Figueroa with a great bar full of great beer, no muss, no fuss. So with his business partners on the project, James Bygrave and Ryan Julio, he made that drink-nice dream a reality. (You know Mr. Bygrave's name from Father's Office, which is most excellent cred, indeed.)
Let's also raise a glass to Mr. Glassman's supportive pals -- who include, full disclosure, former NBC LA employee Olsen Ebright and current sports producer Angelo Simone -- who visited plenty of taverns and pubs around the city, soaking in the sudsy scene and determining what makes a fine drinking and eating establishment.
Certain stretches of our city do have a mystique born over time, due to the businesses that land there, but, far more than that, the people behind the businesses and the patrons that discover them.