Capitol City Has Got Game
By Scott Huver
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: With TVs at every angle, there isn't a bad seat in the house; crispy calamari; booths make for a cozy viewing area; ahi-tuna salad. BELOW: Behind Capital City's 30-foot bar there are 30 beers on tap.
Capitol City the sleek and ginormous (7,000 square feet) sports bar/luxe-lounge hybrid that recently launched on the Cahuenga Corridor, is sure to be the end zone for Hollywood hipsters looking to take in their favorite athletic event without sticking to the floor.
“Every other kind of restaurant has been updated, from Mexican to sushi, but sports bars were stuck in the 1970s,” says Curtis Nysmith, who brought the bar’s brand to the former Goa space after launching the flagship locale in Washington, DC. “If you had a good seat, you had a good [TV] viewing angle. If you didn’t, then tough. And you always got the same mediocre food and service. So I said, ‘What would happen if you brought [a sports bar] into the 21st century?’”
With 16-inch flat screens at eye level in virtually every direction offering views of every competition imaginable—from staples like college football to more rarified matches like cricket—six different audio zones so fans can actually hear the specific game they’re watching and an eye-popping 14- by 8-foot screen as its centerpiece, Capitol City is as far from the typical beer-nuts-in-a-bowl sports bar as possible, except for the cheering.
The plush, mod space with its open-air feel and enormous windows— designed by Tag Front of Geisha House and Boa fame—is as alluring for lounging ladies sipping cocktails while keeping an eye on their favorite team or just bonding with their beaus as it is for sophisticated sportsmen who stop short of face-painting and foam fingers. Along with the expansive lower level offering a 30-foot bar with 30 beers on tap and another 30 by the bottle, there’s a more intimate second level (but not oh-so-LA VIP, promises Nysmith: “You come over with a group of four or five and it’s yours.”) and a back patio with a second bar and cabanas for private viewing.
Add in a menu by chef Shad Davis (The Belmont Café, Stone Fire Pizza) that gastros-up sporty staples like nachos and wings and goes for the extra point with fresher fare, including spicy tuna on crispy rice and heirloom-tomato salads, plus signature cocktails like The Natural (a magarita variant made with agave nectar, fresh-squeezed lime and lemon and your tequila of choice), and the result is a deep bench indeed.
“I wanted to make you feel like if you took the TVs down, it still would be a really nice, beautiful, comfortable space,” says Nysmith. “I can’t imagine any sports bar in the world you can say that about.” 1615 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, 323- 465-1750; capcitysports.com
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JENN KENNEDY
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.