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Truly a Pub for the Locals

January 7, 2011 

The Local Peasant, which especially welcomes Sherman Oaks residents, also looks no farther than California for most of its supplies. 

By Ana Kasparian

Night life in Sherman Oaks continues to thrive with a new business called The Local Peasant, which caters to local residents and businesses.

I happened upon the bar and grill, at 14058 Ventura Blvd., while experiencing a
lack of disposable funds in my worn-out coin purse. I assumed a gastro pub with the word "peasant" in its name would be perfect for young and thrifty individuals like me looking to mingle on a weeknight. Well, yes and noŚmore on that later.

But, first, what makes The Local Peasant different?

"Most of the alcohol here is made in California, including the beer and wine," said bar owner Karl Makinen. "We want to cater to the locals, and especially people who live in Sherman Oaks. In fact, we didn't charge a cover to people who live in Sherman Oaks during our New Year's Eve party."

Makinen, a New York native, is unquestionably fascinated with his new business' locale. Everything from the actual bar to the tables and chairs in the establishment were supplied by nearby shops.

"All you need is made right here in California, so why would I look to big corporations to be my suppliers?"

The Local Peasant opened up in October when the popular hole-in-the-wall bar known as Cozy's went out of business. Cozy's was known for its live jazz and local band performances.

"Cozy's was such a dump," said Local Peasant waitress Brittany D. "But people really loved that place and were upset when they went out of business. In the beginning they took their frustration out on our business."

Makinen says his business is now booming, with people coming in for the California-made alcohol.

Back to prices: Can people on a peasant's budget enjoy the food and drink at The Local Peasant?

While the food is affordable, with $10 burgers and $4 appetizers, the drinks can get a little pricey. When I asked waitress Brittany for a glass of red wine, she brought me a $13 glass of Pinot Noir made by Au Bon Climat without warning me about the price.

But the Au Bon Climat winery is in California, which reinforces Makinen's claim that nearly everything in his bar is locally made.

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