- Andrea Serna
By Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer
For several months, Linda Jackson and her daughter Melissa Klug have been working to bring a spot with urban flair and sophistication to the heart of the 7th Street gallery row.
In January 2015 a new establishment, stocked with a wide array of wines and beer, will open in that area. For two generations, the family has owned 14 units occupying almost the entire south side block of 7th Street, between Mesa and Centre streets. Jackson’s father, Vartkes Barsam, purchased the property from the City of Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. Many years prior to his ownership, the historic location was a meat processing factory.
Many of the units are occupied by small business and artists. A few of the units are highly prized live-work spaces, but Jackson had one double width space that she was unable to keep occupied.
“Tenants would say, ‘it’s a nice big space,’ but it was a lot of overhead if you don’t have an aggressive business,” Jackson said.
Eventually Jackson and her daughter began kicking around the idea trying their hand at running their own business.
“After college I began getting into craft beer” said Klug, an engineer. “My mom has always been a really good hostess. She is the person who always entertains at her home. We got together and decided, ‘Why don’t we put something together?’”
They sat down with a pencil and paper one night and began to envision the possibilities. “We hope to attract young professionals in the nearby apartments” Klug said.
The interior of the spacious location was designed by their neighbor Decha Ruangboonsuk of Visionary Arts. The designer occupies the building across the street and operates the tattoo parlor UDOIDO. His creative talents have fashioned a rich wood interior with modern cement flooring and massive wall spaces that the business owners hope to fill with the work of local artists. Comfortable booths, modern design and a sophisticated atmosphere will provide an urbane alternative to the happy hour crowd.
Klug said the neighborhood business community has been supportive of the efforts to bring another drinking establishment to the area. In particular, they have already established relationships with local eateries.
“We are going to have all the menus from the local restaurants here and they will deliver to our customers while they are here,” Klug said.
They did not include a full kitchen in the remodel of the space, so they will not be serving dinner there in the future.
“We are planning to offer wines from small boutique wineries, things you can’t find in the local stores.” Jackson said. “We will depend on our distributors to help us with the offerings.”
Reserves from small labels will be a specialty for wine lovers. Tastings will be on the agenda, as well as special events and acoustic music. In the beginning the pair plans to test the waters with soft openings and private parties.
After many months of construction delays, it looks like wine and beer lovers will have a new place to relax and taste the undiscovered. With Jackson’s Place and Brouwerij West opening at the port, the choices for beer and wine lovers are getting better for 2015.
Details: (310) 251-2065; jacksonsplace.com
Venue: Jackson’s Place
Location: 335 W. 7th St., San Pedro