The direction Silver Lake’s El Cid might take has been unknown since we broke the story that owner Steve Edelson sold the Spanish-style restaurant and nightclub to Scott Milano of Foodchain Records back in January. Now LA Slush can reveal exclusively what is store for the beloved spot.
Kelly Spencer, known for her work with the indie record label and now the entertainment director at the venue, gave us the details and it’s good news for those who like eclectic entertainment with a local focus. As respected music tastemakers and longtime fans of the old El Cid, Spencer and Milano jumped at the opportunity to steer the ship as Edelson bowed out (he claimed, due to the restraints of the space’s well-known capacity cap: 125). Their concept for the new El Cid shouldn’t be affected by the capacity issue, as a more intimate vibe featuring a diverse selection of live bands (from rockin’ to acoustic), cabaret and “weirdo vaudeville” type bookings is planned. The days of wild, wall-to-wall packed club nights (as was seen at A Club Called Rhonda’s raucous parties) might be a thing of the past for now, but Spencer’s efforts to present the neighborhood with unique offerings will make it a hotspot in its own right. Authentic restorations, as opposed to renovations, have been made in addition to sound, lighting, and monitor updates to enhance the ambiance.
Upcoming shows include The Rudy Casoni Boozebag Review (Thr. 3/22) and The Cheatin’ Kind featuring a DJ set by Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedys (Sat. 4/7). To honor the 10 year anniversary of the passing of beloved Food Chain artist Bianca Butthole, El Cid will be hosting a tribute to the singer with a reunion show by her band Betty Blowtorch in May. (We were huge fans -and friends- with the singer as well, so we’ll be covering it for sure.) And in keeping with the neighborhood feel of the restaurant, El Cid will also be partnering with the Silver Lake Jubilee, who’ll curate their stage Memorial Day Weekend (Sat. 5/26 and Sun. 5/27).
Many El Cid calendar favorites are returning as well. German impersonator Heino brings back his hilarious Happy Hour this Thursday (3/15) with a theme inspired by the building’s history. “Rebirth of a Sensation” references the film “The Birth of A Nation” by D.W. Griffith, which was first screened in the Silver Lake establishment during the silent film era.
Another El Cid staple, the weekend Flamenco dinner shows, have returned as well. El Cid welcomes back Almardiente, world renowned Flamenco dance troupe, to compliment the completely reworked menu of authentic Spanish and Spanish-fusion cuisine. The dinner shows have actually been going on since February as has the live entertainment. The photo above is from the tribute theme night, Goody Tu-Shoes, we attended last month, which saw the beards of Silver Lake gather for a rockin’ ZZ-Top night. See more from that event here. Got a cool band or unique act that might fit in here? Email Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Reporting by Kyle Warner and Lina Lecaro