The Roger Room: a Place of Yes
By Scott Huver
The Roger Room is a specialty-cocktail-centric watering hole on La Cienega with a name that is all about the affirmative: You want an exotic libation that’s tricky to concoct? Roger that! You want a phone call to alert you when there’s room at the typically packed bar so you don’t have to wait outside? Roger that! “We really like to celebrate the culture of ‘yes,’” says owner Jared Meisler, “and The Roger Room has a better ring than Yes Room.”
In just a few short months since its summer debut, the stylish 1920s-style bar—where the only “nos” refer to the nixing of lists and promoters—has been packing in crowds eager to sample its menu of unconventional cocktails. Meisler says he and his Bar Lubitsch partner, Sean MacPherson, “have been wanting to open a great cocktail bar that emphasized the art of finely crafted cocktails for both playful and serious drinkers.”
They started by designing a space that evokes an old-fashioned mindset. “We wanted it to feel as if it had been there for a long time, as if it were 100 years old—like we found some sort of defunct bar that got closed during Prohibition,” says Meisler. “The idea was that by building a beautiful, classic place that feels like it’s been there forever, it will be there forever.”
The timeless theme culminates in the unique mixology menu, which feels both retro and mod at the same time. Meisler teamed up for a year with fellow cocktail enthusiast Damian Windsor to craft a heady selection of creative concoctions. Drinks such as The Thug shakes down patrons with a combination of Maker’s Mark, fresh-squeezed organic lemon juice, Bärenjäger honey liqueur and bitters infused with muy caliente habanero peppers. Another hit: The Tijuana Brass, which floats cucumber foam over a silver-tequila, agave-nectar and lime-juice margarita.
And then there’s the personalized touch of taking would-be patrons’ digits when the bar is at capacity to summon them back when space frees up. “We literally call every single person who gives us their phone number,” says Meisler. He admits that many have assumed the offer was an empty gesture to ease being blown off at the door. “They’re so happy and surprised that we actually come through with what we said we were going to!”
And that’s just the kind of “yes-man” LA needs more of. 370 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-854-1300
PHOTOGRAPHS BY NOAH ABRAMS
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.