Photo Credits: Wonho Frank Lee
Beau Laughlin (Sawyer, Kettle Black, Clover) and Steve Edwards of Assembly Group have brought their game downtown with Harbor House at the iconic Wedbush Center. The team has reconfigured the lobby’s ho-hum packaged salad and a double latte- to-go canteen to a stylish meeting spot with upscale food and a 15,000 square-foot indoor-outdoor hangout in the heart of L.A.’s financial district. Harbor House includes a coffee bar featuring Stumptown, a grab-and-go artisanal snack shop, a cocktail lounge, restaurant, and sweeping outdoor garden patio. The space seamlessly transitions from pre-work coffee and lunch meetings to happy hour and post-work dinners.
Harbor House is the first of several projects from Assembly Group, a partnership between restaurateur Laughlin and real estate developer Edwards, promising to offer a new wave of lifestyle curation for both commercial and residential properties.
“Our aim with Harbor House is to merge the energy of a buzzy hotel lobby with the collaborative spirit of a co-working space—all to the tune of easy, delicious food and drink around-the-clock,” said Laughlin. “It’s a social hub, day and night, for building tenants and our downtown neighbors alike.”
The menu at Harbor House is comprehensive, with options like acai bowls and granola for the Spin before work crowd, as well as more indulgent offerings, including sticky buns and apricot pistachio scones from Suzanne Goin’s Larder Bakery Co. Coffee and espresso service is Stumptown; loose-leaf teas are from Art of Tea; of course, Clover cold-pressed juices make a showing.
By lunchtime, the outdoor patio is buzzing. Guests can choose from salads like a Salmon Confit with spicy greens, cucumber, radish, dill, whipped goat cheese and lemon; the Market Chop, a Harbor House take on an antipasto salad. The menu also features L.A. classics like Avocado Toast with radish, cilantro, lemon and olive oil on country bread and a tabbouleh-like Quinoa Salad.
The real stars are the sandwiches. A popular Turkey Club pairs smoked turkey with little gem, sliced tomato, Fuerte avocado, sprouts and Vermont cheddar; the BTLA features Niman Ranch bacon and a delightful lemon-thyme aioli. Heartier options include a Grilled Cheese with Vermont Cheddar, garlic cheese, pepperoncini, and mortadella, as well as a Buttermilk Fried Chicken sandwich served original or Nashville-style. Starters include a refreshing Ceviche, fresh oysters, charcuterie and cheese boards, a tasty roasted Brussels sprouts salad with Granny Smith apples atop a pignoli praline; and decadent Weiser Farms loaded potatoes.
If you’re planning on sitting out the evening rush hour or to spend an al fresco evening in DTLA, dinners include salmon or steak frites with chimichurri.
And then there’s the bar, a resort-like double-sided affair approachable from lobby or patio. An energetic happy hour includes a thoughtfully curated West Coast wine list, twenty local beers on tap from breweries within 40 miles. The outside patio doubles as a beer garden with revolving highlights including DTLA’s Boomtown Brewery’s Ingenue Belgian White Ale, as well as favorites like Smog City Brewing’s Smoked Smaug Lager.
The cocktail menu includes standards and whimsical concoctions from Jordan Young (Sawyer, Kettleblack.) Gin is paired with a fragrant kiwi shrub and Thai basil; Mezcal features a kaffir-infused mezcal and gooseberry cordial; Scotch is paired with nutty hojicha tea and lemon oleo-saccharum.
Throughout the day, the full-service lobby serves as a sort of bespoke minibar with marshmallows, jerky, granola, and Kombucha because what’s a day without your ‘Booch!
The space is a collaboration between Sean Knibb/Knibb Design (The Line Hotel, Los Angeles and Austin) and Assembly Group, bringing the 1980s “Wall Street” core into a mod live-work space, with fluidity between indoors and outdoors and a seamless day/night transition.
The Harbor House promises to be a hub of the downtown community with weekly cultural programming like local brewery nights, wine tastings, artisanal ice cream carts, a pop-up flower shop, and live music. Full-service catering is available for tenants and the public.
The Harbor House is open daily from 8 AM to 10 PM; closed on weekends.
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ABOUT ASSEMBLY GROUP
Merging the hospitality acumen of Beau Laughlin and the real estate expertise of Steve Edwards, Assembly Group seeks to invigorate properties new and existing with timeless food, beverage, culture and community. Formed in 2016, Assembly Group innovates a new wave of lifestyle curation that focuses on creative development to enhance asset values.
Beau Laughlin designs, builds, operates and owns restaurants Sawyer and Kettle Black, juice bar Clover, and an upcoming Los Feliz concept with chef/partner Doug Rankin (Trois Mec, Petit Trois). Steve Edwards’ Rethink Development leads the development of The Venice Place Project on Abbot Kinney, featuring retail, offices, a planned 84-room boutique hotel, and multiple restaurant spaces anchored by the new Felix by Evan Funke and Venice mainstay Hal’s Bar and Grill.
Following the launch of Harbor House, upcoming projects include an arts district like 400 unit mixed-use development in Silicon Valley next to Levi’s Stadium and Related Companies’ $6.5 billion CityPlace Santa Clara, a mixed-use project with multiple storefronts slated for early 2018 in Silver Lake, and Lincoln Property Group assets across southern California slated for 2018.