The Bungalow in Santa Monica is back.
Brent Bolthouse's Baja-style seaside cottage and bar briefly shuttered to take care of a liquor-licensing issue, and used the time to spiff up the place a bit, as well as to redo the food and cocktail menus.
Beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, it will celebrate its grand reopening, with Bungalow T-shirts being given away.
"We’re just so excited to be back, and look forward to welcoming everyone through The Bungalow’s doors on Friday," Bolthouse said. "In addition to some minor renovations that we’ll be unveiling in the near future, we have a brand new cocktail and food menu, which we can’t wait for everyone to try.”
The temporary closing of The Bungalow came a few months after it celebrated its first anniversary. Bolthouse said the project is near and dear to his heart as it represents the next phase of his career in nightlife -- one that found him growing out of the hot-and-heavy dance club scene and relaxing into a more laid-back private lounge and eclectic music scene.
The Bungalow is a constantly evolving project as Bolthouse assesses the desires and appetites of his neighborhood patrons. Among the changes are expanded hours (the place is open beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays); the new cocktail and food menu (tacos, quesadillas, pork and fish tacos, flatbread pizzas, nachos); and a Tuesday-night residency band called the California Feetwarmers.
Bolthouse said he stumbled across the Feetwarmers while walking down the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and instantly fell in love with their sound, inviting them to play regularly at The Bungalow.
"It's Dixieland and bluegrass and Americana," said Bolthouse, a music lover and DJ. "They play outside on the deck, it's just an amazing night."
Not in the mood to listen to music? That's OK, there's also a game room, an indoor bar, an outdoor bar, a garden, a back bar and more. Bolthouse said he built the place to be more of a house party than a bar, and guests can sit apart or be part of a group.
"I couldn't have done it without the people who come here," he said of growing The Bungalow over the past year. "That's the surprising thing: how warm and great the people of Santa Monica have been to me. I think my past career didn't represent what I would do here, and I think this place shows that I care about Santa Monica and the community. It really hit a nerve."
The Bungalow, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 899-8530, www.thebungalowSM.com.