Craft Beer Closure: Encino’s The Elbow Room to Close Doors at the End of April
On October 2nd, 2013, Detroit transplant, Mike Armstrong, opened the doors to his first restaurant venture, The Elbow Room. Tucked away on the second story of a somewhat random shopping center on Ventura Blvd in Encino, CA, The Elbow Room promised to be a haven for San Fernando Valley craft beer and burger lovers alike. And according to their 4.5 stars on Yelp, the people were digging it.
The Elbow Room got a lot of things right – a small selection of great local craft beers, a lineup of some truly epic burgers (check out that pic of their Badass Burger!), a selection of fun games around the bar, chalkboard-covered tables and walls, and a friendly staff that was obviously enthusiastic about creating a great experience for their customers.
A Turn For the Worse
Unfortunately, after just 7 months, The Elbow Room has announced that it’s closing its doors. But with the bar an obvious hit among South Valley residents, why the sudden closure?
Well, the blame could be placed on a number of things. Maybe it was the lack of diversity of the beer list, limited to just 6 precious taps. Or perhaps it was the cramped quarters of the space itself, much too tight to host groups over 6 on most nights. Then there’s the fact that the bar just wasn’t promoted very well, with their meager online presence and dismal visibility in local beer communities like Food GPS’ Beer Blast, Beer Paper LA, and Westcoaster SoCal.
A bar in Los Angeles can have all the 5-star Yelp reviews it wants, but if it’s not actively communicating and distributing its unique story, it’s easy to get lost among the shuffle. Hell, The Elbow Room never even ended up opening up for Saturdays and Sundays, which are some of the most high-volume and profitable bar operating hours throughout the week.
One Last Hurrah
Whatever the reason, The Elbow Room is in fact closing and will be holding its farewell party on Friday, April 25th. I’d link you to an event page for more details, but, surprisingly (or not!), there’s no page to be found.
Here at Hopped LA we bid a fond farewell to The Elbow Room and wish the owner Mike all the luck in his future ventures.