From LA Canvas: Silver Lake needs a new haunt for the more upscale clientele the neighborhood has been attracting in recent years. Yes, Bar Stella and Black Cat are stellar, but these spots are a secret no more. Overcrowded barrooms warrant a move to more undiscovered surroundings for the small hope of plentiful seating and a lower decibel level conducive to conversation. Enter Tenants of The Trees. What used to be a dive-y gay bar named MJ’s is gearing up for its big open, presenting a completely renovated space that will house a cocktail bar, secret music venue, and outdoor movie theater. Founders Reza Fahim and Jason Lev gave us a peek at the interiors (and exteriors), and this bar is worth the hype. With Griffith’s forest landscape nearby, the physical location is nestled at the foot of a hill surrounding the Silver Lake reservoir. The neighborhood plays home to thousands looking for that ideal mix of urban life and natural surroundings, a combination that seems to be what Fahim and Lev have recreated in cocktail-friendly form. “Jonnie Houston [Harvard and Stone, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s] once told me that there’s no bad locations, only bad concepts,” said Fahim. “Tenants of The Trees reflects the neighborhood. A neighborhood bar should also have the DNA of a destination spot.”
The Houston Brothers shout-out stems from Fahim’s history as a co-conspirator in the hospitality impresario’s projects. He earned his chops working alongside Mark and Jonnie, collaborating on the creative concepts behind some of their previous endeavors. But for Reza, nightlife was never the plan. A former film school kid (UCSB and UCLA), he fell into hospitality after college. His experience working with the best in the business, coupled with his aesthetic instinct, made for a diverse perspective—a visual and logistical dexterity he called upon to conceptualize Tenants.