Checker Hall — Los Angeles, USA
Thirty-five years after the last secret handshake was exchanged, Highland Park’s landmark Masonic Lodge has been given a new lease of life as a theatre and performing arts venue.
The LA-based studio Design, Bitches has been careful to preserve original features of the 1923 Renaissance Revival-styled block – a stone’s throw from stained glass specialists Judson Studios and Lummis House – not least the ornamental chandeliers and cherry wood panels. However, it’s their intervention in the restaurant that really catches the eye.
Here, Kvadrat-upholstered banquettes, Maharam Checker fabric and Timorous Beasties Thistle wallpaper are a subtle nod to the building’s past, while Thonet ‘Era’ chairs and Normann Copenhagen ‘Form’ bar-stools alongside a Negro Marquina marble bar top add a jolt of modernity. Executive chef Hovig Agop’s rustic Mediterranean menu, meanwhile, flirts between grilled octopus on a bed of labneh, and a mizuna salad of tangerines and lentils warmed with citrus vinaigrette.