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Mohawk Bend Promises Craft Beer Revolution in Echo Park

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Tony Yanow must not know the term ‘hangover’. Having successfully poured California-only pints at Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank for years, Yanow recently began his own version of the power hour, with a co-conspirator role in the summer’s best pop-up beer garden ColLAboration and some ribbon-cutting on the gigantic new Golden Road Brewing that he’s bringing to Atwater Village. You’d understand, then, if his highly anticipated new beer venture Mohawk Bend in Echo Park feels a little woozy.

Thankfully, it doesn’t. In fact, Mohawk Bend is so well thought out, such a carefully executed vision, that more than a few minutes in the long-shuttered former theater will have you smiling at Tony himself and saying “I’ll have what he’s having”.

Now coasting to an impending opening in the space on Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park, Mohawk Bend has been the stuff of blogger legend for months, with plenty of expectations and an already missed soft-opening date. After all the ballyhoo, however, one thing remains clear: they found the right beer. Well, beers actually.

In keeping with the ‘All Craft. All Draught. All California’ manta from Darts Away, the 70+ taps will focus on kegged-up versions of many of the Golden State’s best suds. There is also a shockingly well-stocked California only full bar, in addition to the six CA-centered wines available by the glass. Instead of focusing on the spirit-of-the-moment, bar manager Keith Taylor is working hard alongside Yanow to keep a commitment to left coast alcohol of all kinds, which is no small feat in a space this size, where a run on bourbon could leave the whole state high and dry.

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Likely, the vibe at Mohawk Bend won’t let that happen. The patio out front encourages people watching and comfortable conversation over slow-sipping booze, while the immediate interior is stocked with small tables and booths for those smart parties that opt for a bite with their brews. As the long open room fades to the back, a large communal table takes center stage, while still giving a livelier crowd room to mingle and jostle for another round. But just when you think the space is going to be overrun by the ‘stand and scream over the music’ crowd, floor-to-ceiling single pane factory windows shave off a nice chunk of space for one of the better indoor patios we’ve seen. The ceiling extends near to heaven, with skylights for an ambient glow. At night, the warmth and orange-y backdrop come from a large fireplace along the original back brick wall.

Food from the open kitchen opposite the large bar focuses on fan favorites: small pizzas, flat breads, fish and chips, but are tweaked here and there to allow for vegan-friendly alternatives. While the focus at Mohawk Bend is unequivocally on the beer, Yanow again has done his best to execute a vision that offers more than just his simple Darts Away menu of sausages and snacks.

With so much ink spilled on Mohawk Bend before it has even officially opened, it’s refreshing to see the details haven’t gotten away from Tony Yanow. Instead, he’s created a space that pushes Echo Park and the entire focus on true craft beer in Los Angeles forward, towards a more sustainable - and exciting - future.