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Speakeasy Style

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

By Jordan Mainzer
Photos by Alen Lin

Hollywood is notorious for rehashing stale ideas. But outside of the studios, old ideas are getting a fresh treatment. Ralph Gentile Architects put a new spin on Old Hollywood at the neighborhood’s new Sadie Kitchen and Lounge. From tin ceilings to chandeliers to wood paneling, the architecture was meticulously thought out to create a speakeasy-style atmosphere.

In fact, the woman after whom the restaurant was named has a bit of a speakeasy history herself. “Sadie was a real person, the grandmother of the current owners,” principal architect Ralph Gentile says. “She had a chocolate shop across the street that many speculated was a front for a speakeasy during prohibition.” Described as part Betty Crocker and part Ma Barker, Sadie, whose warmth and coziness was combined with 1920s-era Hollywood glamour, embodies the spirit of the restaurant, even today. Ralph Gentile Architects was so intent on maintaining that vintage character that they repiped the old espresso machine from the previous restaurant, famous '90s hangout Café Les Deux, so that it dispenses beer and wine. But unlike Les Deux, which “had a bad reputation in the neighborhood,” according to Gentile, Sadie recreates its namesake’s welcoming spirit.

Pick up a copy of the Inspiration Issue of Design Bureau to see the full story in good old-fashioned print. 

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Patrons can enjoy the patio at Sadie Kitchen and Lounge even when temperatures dip thanks to Calcana's patio heaters. "Architect Ralph Gentile wanted ideal comfort for patrons and was impressed with our patio heaters since they are the only product on the market that can modulate the heat output remotely to match the weather and desires of the patrons," John Vancak, president at Calcana Group of Companies, says. "Also, he didn't want anything to distract from an evening of fine dining.  Since our heaters do not produce any visible light or open flames, the customer experiences a heated space without any visible distractions." What's more, the heaters' flexible design allows the rooftop and sides of the patio to be open and closed as needed. "Because we produce pure heat and no light, our fuel efficiency is much greater, and our clearance to combustibles is much lower, allowing our heaters to be installed in applications that others cannot." 

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