Downtown will soon have a new neighborhood bar from the team behind DTLA Cheese. Its focus is on items that have taken the city by storm (or, at the very least, a steady drizzle) in recent years — sparkling wine and tinned fish.
Lydia Clarke and Reed Herrick are opening Kippered in the space formerly occupied by Bernadette’s at 361 S. Broadway near 4th Street, on the same block as Grand Central Market.
Clarke said the goal was to open a casual local bar in the vacuum left by Bernadette’s, which Jim VanBlaricum opened in 2017 and closed in October.
“When we saw our friend Jim was closing … It was like, ‘What? No!” she said. Clarke and Herrick, who opened DTLA Cheese in Grand Central Market with Clarke’s sister in 2013, discussed taking over the space.
“We didn’t want to let the space go,” said Clarke, who has also lived downtown with Herrick for nearly nine years. “I love our little block of downtown, and it’s been through so much.”
Kippered will act as a kind of expansion of DTLA Cheese, which occupies a space near the Hill Street side of the market. It will serve as a commissary for the new bar, which will be just a few hundred feet away.
Herrick emphasized the fun of learning about different food products — for both the customers as well as him and Clarke. “We want to talk about the fish, talk about the wine and beer,” he said. “Where it comes from and why it is the way it is.”
The opening menu will feature about 50 types of tinned fish. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Clarke and Herrick expanded their tinned seafood collection, falling in love with the colorful packaging and pairing them with various beverages. There will also be cheese (naturally), charcuterie, salads and a few beers and still wines. Herrick, who was on the opening team at a number of restaurants in Northern California, including Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen and Azzurro Pizzeria, will serve as chef.
The menu will be distinct from that at DTLA Cheese, however — don’t necessarily expect a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomato soup, long a mainstay at the Grand Central Market shop. One night you might have a tin of Ramón Peña sardines with padrón peppers in olive oil. The next, you might enjoy some Comté ribbons alongside a package of spiced mackerel from José Gourmet.
Clarke said prioritizing sourcing and showcasing producers will be of importance. “It’s more than putting something on a plate. We get to learn about how and why things are done, and celebrate them,” she said.
Clarke and Herrick aim to open Kippered the third week of April. The opening times, subject to change, will be from 4 p.m. until midnight, with the eventual goal of staying open until 2 a.m. It will be closed Tuesdays.