Spotlight on: MiddleBar
The Moments When Opportunities Find You: MiddleBar’s Organic Evolution
If you have not made it a point to drop in on MiddleBar on Market Street in Downtown Inglewood, be sure to add it to your 2018 Bucket List. Great location. Fantastic cocktails. Comforting food. Live Music. Utopia!
We sat down with the owners of MiddleBar to learn more about this hidden gem (for not so long) and turns out, they have one of the coolest “how did you start your business” stories ever! It goes a little like this:
Corrie Scully and Renie Schoenkerman’s home, the middle of their home to be exact, became quite the meetup spot for friends to enjoy delicious, organic cocktails with stimulating conversation. Their spot was popular, convenient and inviting. Now, that doesn’t sound so unusual, except that not every house party inspires a following of repeat visitors who create a Facebook page to check-in and make online reservations.
The Draw: The Cocktails Are Truly Amazing
As demand grew, the two moonlighting mixologists followed the path being laid before them. They soon began catering events and working the farmer’s market circuit, which informed the expansion of their product line. Once the direction was clear for the product line, Corrie and Renie found the perfect little licensed kitchen to stage their operation. The space was used exclusively for production of signature mixers like Bourbon Tarragon Lemonade and Strawberry Fields. At the time there were no plans to open a restaurant; at least not until they were invited to do so by the City of Inglewood.
So then, Corrie and Renie took the City up on its invitation. They decided to hang a shingle and name it, appropriately, MiddleBar. The concept was to create a Library Bar, Dinner Parlour and Bruncherie.
The Theme: The Gathering of Loved Ones in a Relaxing Atmosphere
There is no doubt this place welcomes everyone with a big, warm, friendly hug. From the farm fresh signature cocktails and mocktails, like Bloody Mary mix, the Frenchman and the world’s first organic Grenadine—all made from fresh ingredients that are easy to make at home—to the Friday Night Vinyl (BYOV) events, Saturday Night Soul showcases and Live Jazz Brunch with Parlor Social on Saturdays and Sundays, it’s the coolest new watering-hole around.
Who will you see there? At present, the clientele is overwhelmingly local, with about 70% of customers from Inglewood. However, the specialty crafted cocktails and active social media presence helps MiddleBar attract tourists and avid spirit connoisseurs from all parts of LA. With all the improvements happening around the City, the jury is still out on whether MiddleBar remains local or levels out to be equal parts neighborhood staple and destination spot. Speaking of the new developments, Corrie and Renie welcome all the changes.
“For businesses it means only good things because it causes people to know that there are activities and projects happening to improve not only Market St. but the entire City of Inglewood,” says Corrie.
Because of how organically (pun intended) MiddleBar emerged, the recent uptick in development in Inglewood is extremely important to this duo. It’s not just because new development attracts more potential customers. New development creates opportunities for the community to collaborate and have a voice in shaping Inglewood’s future. Corrie and Renie look forward to writing this collaborative effort into the next chapter of MiddleBar’s history.