Throwback Aperitivo Bar Capri Club Takes Over Historic Eagle Rock Restaurant
A cozy new aperitif bar is shaking things up along Eagle Rock Boulevard this week. The wide stretch east of the Los Angeles River has had its ups and downs over the decades as neighborhoods like Eagle Rock, Highland Park and Glassell Park change and fluctuate, but the boulevard probably never had something something as distinct as the Capri Club before.
Longtime Eastsiders will know the building at 4604 Eagle Rock Boulevard from its former tenant, laid-back Italian-American destination Capri. This restaurant opened over 50 years ago as a meeting place for pasta and wine, although more recently it has fallen out of favor and even suffered an episode of Gordon’s show Ramsay. Nightmares in the kitchen. Capri officially closed in 2019, with plans revealed for new tenant Capri Club in early 2020. Now, over two years and a pandemic later, the bar is actually here.
So what to expect inside the Capri Club? Dark red leather cabins, an arched wooden bar, and a coastal Italian mural that nods to the former tenant, for starters. Owner Robert Fleming, who has spent years working in wine around Los Angeles as well as in the music industry, says he wanted to nod to the timelessness of the venue – open for the first time in 1963 – so expect some lived-in touches like worn flooring and woodwork too. There’s room for about three dozen people at a glance, plus sidewalk seating under the preserved neon sign.
Capri Club’s main focus, of course, is beverages, with Nic Vascocu (Bavel, Acme NYC) serving as beverage director overseeing the entire program. There’s a full lineup of $14 cocktails like negronis, jungle birds, and martinis, plus $12 spritzes, 50/50s, wines, and beers. A separate menu for appetizers weaves in and out of different styles of amaro and fernets, vermouths and beyond.
Fleming tapped Puglia-born chef Francesco Allegro – known as a pasta whisperer at Rossoblu restaurant in the arts district – to oversee a simple menu of bites and bar snacks alongside drinks. Options range from marinated anchovies and tuna-stuffed peppers to meatballs in sugo, charcuterie and cheese plates, and chickpea polpettes, with nothing open over $15. The opening food and drink menus are below.
The new Capri Club is just one of many new projects that have changed or will soon change the landscape of Glassell Park, Eagle Rock and Highland Park. Walt’s Bar remains one of the neighborhood’s best hangouts just up the street, and the recently opened Bagel + Slice is already making waves around the corner. Bars include Wife & the Somm and the Grant in addition to favorites like Verdugo Bar, and even big names like chef Brian Dunsmoor are getting in on the action these days.
The Capri Club opens this Friday, June 17 at 4604 Eagle Rock Boulevard. From there, plan weekly schedules from Wednesday to Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight, and from 4 p.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sunday. Eventually, locals will be able to drop by during the day on weekends, keeping the restaurant and bar’s ‘Open Day & Night’ mantra alive.