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Arts and Entertainment

Photos: Highland Park's New Venue Offers Live Music, Pool & Bar Bites

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A new Highland Park venue offers a casual, neighborhood spot for live music, bar food, beer and wine.

Hi Hat quietly soft opened in a former billiards hall on York Boulevard last week and is now officially open, with a growing roster of live shows, food from L&E Oyster Bar's Spencer Bezaire and a variety of beer and wine. The spot is owned by Michael Blackman, Ross Stephenson and Dustin Lancaster, who you may know from The Hermosillo and Highland Park Brewery just down the block.

While the signage of the old billiard room remains, they scrapped all but two of the 17 pool tables, built a stage and installed a top-notch sound system. You'll find some additional remnants of the billiards hall beyond the two tables, most notably in the form of an old mural partially hung over the twin pool tables, and repurposed as the doors to the restrooms. The pool tables, along with some seating, can be found towards the front of the venue. A half-wall separates the pool tables from the stage, though the bands will be visible from every spot in the house. There's plenty of space for dancing directly in front of the stage, as well as elevated seating against the far wall and a cushy lounge area that can potentially be reserved for your special occasions.

The venue has a capacity of about 300, and will offer a variety of local and touring bands, DJs, open mic and comedy. Stephenson told LAist that while the music will likely skew on the rock side of things, they're open to nearly anything.

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"Hopefully, [Hi Hat] will also be a place that people will want to hang out at not even knowing who's playing on a given night, akin to venues in cities like Nashville and Austin, where live music is very much integrated," Stephenson said.

The bar is making the most of their beer and wine license by offering a small, yet well-curated selection of wines, plus a variety of canned beers, including domestic, imports and craft brews. Drink prices will range between $4 to $12.

The menu will include bar bites like burgers, fried chicken, potato tacos, fried pickled cauliflower, waffle fries and corn dogs. Hi Hat opens every day at 5 p.m. for those looking to grab a meal and sip a beer, with a cover charge for the bands only enforced later in the evening. Local shows will typically be $5 at the door, while larger shows will offer tickets online at the venue's website. Bands are booked by talent buyer Britt Witt.

Some upcoming shows include performances from pop rock act The Soft White Sixes with Warbly Jets and Alyeska; Mrs. Magician and the psychedelic Dead Heavens with Frankie and the Witch Fingers; and L.A. indie pop act TV Girl.

Hi Hat is located at 5043 York Blvd. in Highland Park, 323-258-4427.

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