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An “office” is born out of beverage

There are some great advantages to being part of a company where no one at the helm, or on staff, has a degree in business.  Decisions are undertaken with care and consideration but without the burdensome baggage that excess knowledge may bring.  In mid 2011 it was decided that Proprietors was in desperate need of overhead, we needed an office, a lab, a creative space. If this was going to be our life, our near every waking moment, and it seemed to be, then we wanted to spend it in as beautiful and fun a space as the bars that we created, only slightly more conducive to work.

Cocktail development friends.

Cocktail development friends.

The gents at Handsome Coffee connected us with Tyler Stonebreaker, owner of Creative Spaces, and he uncovered the forever-tan legend of the Arts District Crazy Gideon.  Gideon was bringing his 830 Traction building up to code and we were the first ones to bite.  We snagged a white washed, fluorescent-lit corner office.  We tore out a wall, put up some metro shelves and moved most of our booze related belongings in.  Before we could design and build we had a project to develop, drinks to make.  The Ellipsis Mumbai project landed, and with it Yael Vengroff landed in LA, trouble-maker extraordinaire who we recruited for the HB position, to live in India for one year.

We had an empty concrete room but it was a room dedicated to Proprietors work and only Proprietors work.  It didn’t turn in to a restaurant at night, there were no outside demands on the space, no customers, it was just ours, to come and go as we please, to play music loud as we like, to work around the clock without distractions other than the ones we created.  It was nothing, just a near empty room, and it was incredibly inspiring.

There were no outside demands on the space, no customers, it was just ours.

Work is often hard.  It’s important to find time to rest and reflect.

Work is often hard. It’s important to find time to rest and reflect.

The brief use of the office had us itching for a fully realized space.  We got to work.  We collaborated on the design with our friends and kings of the DTLA bar world Patry + Kline. We touched every surface; new plumbing, electric, polished concrete floors, built a floating wrap-around desk in the office area, ripped out both walls in the soon to be development area and installed new structural supports to weld to, created a shelving and counter system that was welded together on site.

We opened the walls to put in new structural to wield our shelves to.

We opened the walls to put in new structural to wield our shelves to.

Ever inspired by Roman & Williams, we couldn’t forget the overhead piping, deciding on a high gloss shade of blue for them.  The floating shelves above the counter would hold hundreds of bottles of hooch, under the counter would be oversized drawers and then open shelf space, the opposing wall would hold our library, glassware, and bellow our office storage.  The shelving systems were built strong enough to be climbed on and reached to the ceiling.  Every inch had to be considered and used.

Alex and I grew up climbing, childhood skills are often useful in work settings.

Alex and I grew up climbing, childhood skills are often useful in work settings.

The heart of the development space is a Proprietors designed, custom built, stainless steal counter island comprising of a dipper well, two compartment sink, perforated drain board work surface, and a wood topped work space on the opposite side.  This was built to create cocktails on and to educate, not to emulate the bar working environment.  Ingredients are placed on the work surface to be seen, thought about, proportions tinkered with, continuously tweaked.

It is more than an office and more than a test bar, it’s a space to work, to create and to be creative.

Alex and Devon shaking cocktails for our project in India.

This space was and is absolutely magical.  It is more than an office and more than a test bar, it’s a space to work, to create and to be creative.  We named it Chapter & Verse.  We had no way to imagine what value a working environment like this would bring to our company, and in many ways we’re still working to realize C&V’s potential.

The centerpiece of our office / test bar comes together.

The centerpiece of our office / test bar comes together.

The space continues to evolve and the work that is created within continues to progress. Just like any personal space it has become a place that we ache to get back to when we’re on the road, for the familiarity, the comfort, the creativity, the inspiration, and for the incredible people we get to work with within.

The first night social trial run of the office, it’s felt like home since day one.

The first night social trial run of the office, it’s felt like home since day one. 

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