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WeHo's Sunset Strip Revs up for a Busy Summer of Happy Hours & Food Trucks

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Photo by bORjAmATiC via Flickr

Photo by bORjAmATiC via Flickr
West Hollywood is not known for cheap parking, nor for its attitude towards food trucks, which are banned under city law. Now that's starting to change. In a move to make sure the famous Sunset Strip's fading spot stays on the map, businesses are banding together to bring crowds out in two weekly events throughout the Summer.This Saturday, the city is allowing trucks in certain spots along Sunset Boulevard. Ten of them will appear between 8 p.m. and midnight.

For Nic Adler of The Roxy, the move is another step in bringing back the Strip. "When I was a kid it wasn't all about cars because everyone lived here -- it was a different kind of community 30 years ago," he said about the pedestrian oriented life on the streets. "There were a lot of apartments that were affordable. There were bands that moved here and now they've moved out. We've seen that switch to Silver Lake."

Food trucks will continue on Saturday nights, but after this week, fewer will visit during a three or four week period as the city of West Hollywood repaves the boulevard, something which hasn't been done in some 70 years.

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West Hollywood officials are giving out special permits on Saturday nights to see if food trucks are doable within city limits. "Our main goal is to make sure it's working," Adler explained. "This is really an experiment of smashing two cultures together." Important to the success of this is curating the trucks -- no sushi or pizza ones will allowed as they would directly compete with brick and mortar sushi and pizza restaurants.

On Wednesday nights starting next week, the Strip is organizing another weekly event. The Mass Happy Hour includes 14 restaurants that will hold happy hour deals between 5 and 8 p.m. From the Rainbow Bar & Grill to BLT Steak, each eatery will offer a different $4 Sunset Strip Cocktail. At The Standard, the drink will be made of orange vodka, triple sec, orange juice and grenadine. At Mirabelle's, vodka, fresh lemonade, St. Germaine and raspberries. The Rainbow's wili be based on Jack Daniels.

The night will also be about going beyond traditional happy hour bar food. At BLT, a $5 menu will offer BBQ short rib, gnocco with pomodoro and pea tendrils, crispy Fanny Bay Oysters with fennel slaw and yuzu aioli, and steak sliders with red wine, onions and aged cheddar.

And if parking is a problem, special parking rates at $4 or $5 flat will be offered in a few places. And for those who want to shop, a handful of retailers -- Code C, LIVE! On Sunset, Nicole and Chez Bopare. At the Comedy Store, $3 PBRs will be served up along with free entrance for those who show a Mass Happy Hour coupon.

"We want to encourage a pedestrian feel to the Strip," explained Todd Steadman, who heads up the Sunset Strip Bussines Association. "We're doing it to build a sense of community -- it's for the businesses and residents."

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With these two events and the upcoming 3rd annual Sunset Strip Music Festival, which just launched a new website, Adler is excited for the neighborhood. "You kinda get this feeling that someone hit the reset button and we're getting another chance to it."