The Edison

Seamlessly blending together science, artistry, and industry, LA’s The Edison — steampunk-inspired interior inside a now-defunct power plant basement — is just one small part of the reason behind its thriving popularity. In business for over eight years in downtown LA, The Edison was a pioneer in the nightlife industry for its exemplary cocktail menu, its small plates, and, of course, its history.

According to Barbara Jacobs, the COO of The Edison, the idea for the lounge was founded in the fact that it was “the first big venue of its time, and a big investment for the community.” But being first on the scene isn’t the only accolade on The Edison’s list. According to Jacobs, The Edison staffs its venues (it’s owned by Meieran) straight from local rehabilitation organizations, including the Downtown Women’s Center, The Midnight Mission, and the Union Rescue Mission, to name a few. In an interview with LA Downtowner, Jacobs said, “When you walk through the door — that’s your first day. Once we hire you, everyone is equal here.”

The Edison’s bar and drink menu also focuses on ways it can cultivate a community spirit. Proceeds from The Edison’s The Happy Herbie cocktail (Templeton Rye, Jasmine liqueur, and bitters) is put toward college scholarships toward young artists. Though it’s not wholly uncommon for a bar to do this, The Edison even features two non-alcoholic drinks on its menu. Jacobs said, “We try to give some kind of offering to the community everyday that we’re open. We’re hoping to create a community of givers.”

Table reservations at The Edison made after 7 p.m. have a drink and food minimum, and the bar serves a medley of small, shareable plates and flatbreads to its guests. The restaurant is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 until close and on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m.

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