Although I’ve been living in LA for nearly 20 years now, maybe more—hell, its a blur, its almost always been on the west side of town. Imagine of a pair of entangled middle fingers flanked by a pinky and an index finger, mentally mouthing the phrase “website!” Yeah, I’m a nerd too.
With a tech job in the west, I moved from SilverLake to the Venice, leaving the “cooler” neighborhood behind. Then, when the bubble burst, I just stayed over there but “fell back” onto my degree as a photographer and started shooting motorcycles. Eventually got a studio downtown near the arts district but eventually had to let that go too. But I still miss the gritty city and growth of the Arts District. Now I have a reason to come back again!
Years after financial security of the tech world faded away, I now get paid to drool over two-wheeled machines instead of web servers and programmer code. I much prefer to ride. And having a motorcycle in LA makes getting around so much more tolerable. If not for easier travel to point “B” via lane-splitting, and easier parking in the maze of restrictions… two wheels are the answer to sanity in a big city. Greater mobility and easier parking? I’ll take it.
Not that I wasn’t already convinced that two wheels are the best way to travel–domestically or otherwise–as one of the converted, I’m sure you agree. Now we have the means AND a place to gather! The House of Machines!
Enter The House of Machines. “It’s our home, and your invited.”
Today, this morning, The House of Machines unveiled its newest global location on 7th Street to the media. Tonight there will be a grand opening party but the doors don’t yet open to the public; that date is yet to be set but is due any day now. Still waiting on the last of the permits. Soon, DTLA will get a new place for riders to hang their helmet.
But who’s the guy in the suit? He’s a big-whig at the BMW motorrad. They’ve got their eye on the market since the launch of the #MakeLifeaRide campaign and the R Nine-T. So with the latest THoM (as they call it) location comes a little advice and support from Germany. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be a corporate thing however… far from it in fact. You will not find any BMW branding on site, maybe not even a BMW in the parking lot, just riders, friends, and a few Fonzonium stickers in strategic places.
Similar to the westside’s Deus on Venice Blvd, with their mashup of motorcycles and culture, THoM began in South Africa instead of Australia, and combines art, music and more (not just motos, surfing, and coffee). Now their third location–with many more to come in the years ahead–Cape Town and Tokyo lead the way for their location-unique formula, one-off retail spaces that include not only motorcycles and riders, but name-brand cocktail baristas, top-shelf chefs, and bespoke clothing and accessories. They consider it more a space to hang out, than a shop with just enough room to sit down for a coffee. And if you happen to dig the bikes parked inside, or being worked on inside, or parked outside for that matter (see the white Hutchbilt bike in the photos), all the better. They too love the culture we’ve created together, and have built a house for all to live in together. Thanks!
With an ethos built on the acknowledgement of knowing how lucky they are to wake up for a passion, Chris and Fiona Richardson take everyday as an opportunity to provide a service, one built around craftsmanship. Each bike built is a journey for both builder and rider — and like the bikes themselves, the Richardson’s are built on solid bones, heritage, experience and a whole tankful of enthusiasm.
“My dad is a hot rod guy so he taught me how to work on cars and my grandfather was a fabricator for Southern Pacific Railroad who taught me how to weld and fabricate metal. I’ve just always loved making and building things … especially things I could drive fast!” — Chris Richardson, Head Builder. laspeedshop.com
BARREL-AGED COCKTAILS & LOCALLY-SOURCED DISHES
Led by head bartender Amanda Colom (aka Bad Birdy), THoM’s traditional style of barrel-aged cocktails combined with Amanda’s creative vision and flair to provide an unrivalled drinking experience. Life doesn’t begin until you partake in an evening of Old Fashioneds or Negronis at The House. @bad_birdy
Executive Chef Bruce Kalman brings his Northern Italian cooking style to THoM, with a strong commitment to indigenous ingredients from local suppliers thereby keeping a low carbon footprint. Winner of a ‘Chopped’ championship title on the Food Network, Bruce delivers old school quality through modern management techniques. @ChefBKalman
LIMITS NO LONGER APPLY
THoM has teamed up with BMW Motorrad on a limited capsule of riding-inspired, fashion-focussed menswear. The result is an uncomplicated and simplified range of core basics that every man needs as the foundation of their wardrobe, inspired by the habits of the modern biker. The authentic range of premium quality menswear created the opportunity for the world’s foremost manufacturer of motorcycles to collaborate with masters in the field of garment engineering. limitsnolongerapply.com
When this place gets up and running, I’ll be back to sip on some old fashioneds while kickin back on the mid-century furniture and reminiscing the good old garage days with the smell of motor oil wafting throughout the joint.
I’m excited to return to the “cooler” part of LA again, back to a place I used to call home, back into cultural cocoon that is the Arts District. And I welcome The House of Machines to LA… best of luck!
UPDATE: Pix from the opening party…
2028 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
It’s across the street from Tony’s Saloon and Pizzanista, you know the place. Whatever you do, just don’t be a dick. Opening soon, watch the website.