Drink

Proprietors LLC debuts ‘Chapter and Verse,’ a test bar in their office

A look into cocktail & hospitality experts David Kaplan and Alex Day + video with Alex

Just to be clear, this isn’t going to be the next L.A. hotspot to have a drink at. It’s a bar that Proprietors LLC partners David Kaplan and Alex Day (pictured above) opened in their office. Why would anyone want to open an awesomesauce factory like this? First you have to know the men behind the bar.

The Proprietors

Founded as a “romantic idea of a creative co-op,” David and Alex made their connection at New York’s Death + Co. where David is a co-owner and Alex was a bartender. It was here that they saw “a shared vision within hospitality.”

What do they do? “We do anything from designing a restaurant and bar from the ground up and overseeing the entire process and running it for the long term as the owners of it. To something as focused as a concise beverage program. Say, creating five cocktails for a restaurant like Stella Rossa on the Westside.” Basically, from running your business to designing you a drink and anything else in between.

David and Alex were behind the change in O Hotel’s Bar and Kitchen. They are anticipating the opening of a restaurant in Mumbai, India which they developed the beverage program for with several projects, domestic and international, on the line.

Passion and diversity

These guys love their jobs, specifically in the creative and collaborative arena, “we want to work with all these people who create beautiful things. We’re not taking a model and reproducing it.”

This is more than your regular 9 to 5 job, Alex says, “David and I work seven days a week, 10-14 hours a day. We love what we do. I don’t want to stop doing it.”

Proprietors LLC allows them to broaden this creative itch that comes from the love of their craft. It serves as “a vehicle that would allow us to have our hands on more projects, more places, and to do more.” Something that would be more difficult to do if they were limited to only their own ventures. The importance being, “you can only exercise so much creative energy in that timeline.”

This does not discount the prospects of them opening their own establishments, as those are in the works. Rather, it highlights the foundational goals that Proprietors set out to achieve.

What’s in a name?

Alex says, “the obvious place where it comes from is the biblical context. That you know it so well that you can quote it down to the chapter and verse. Which speaks to the level of fanaticism and sheer love and passion for something. That sums up what this place is.”

On this level, the name symbolizes the expertise that they focus on as a business. David adds, “there is a romanticism to naming something. To it having its own life. We need to understand this space as a creative environment in which we provide experiences for people.” By naming their test bar Chapter and Verse, they give it an identity that coincides with their goals and love for their industry. Keeping them focused on what they set out to do in the first place.

Progression

Chapter and Verse aims towards progress. David says, “I think in the past ten years we’ve seen a fantastic return and celebration in craft. Now that we have that, how can we progress human experience in hospitality in a meaningful way. I think this space is a celebration of that.”

Again, having a dedicated space devoted to the craft allows them to remain centered on what they are trying to achieve.

Alex controls all the variables in his drinks. From the spirit selection to the ice that he sources, it’s all chosen deliberately.

Chapter and Verse

You’ve heard the romantic aspects of it, but David and Alex do admit they’re “ridiculously geeky in the respect that we know this is like a car guy building himself the ultimate garage. We understand that.” In the practical sense, Chapter and Verse acts as a training center, a test lab, think tank, personal indulgence, and whatever else you want to do in your office bar.

If they’re taken by a bout of inspiration, they can take six steps from their office to their lab, whip up the drink and see if it works. With over 400 bottles of an ever growing assortment and a library of books, they’re sure to stay busy.

Chapter and Verse also has a section for kindred spirits, Handsome Coffee Roasters, who the Proprietors feel “are the best in the industry, certainly in America.” They consulted the Handsome Coffee Roasters for their input on the coffee offerings during their work at Bar and Kitchen.

The culmination of Proprietors LLC is not just a paycheck, competition, or job. All of that is a factor, but they are foremost about the advancement of the industry: progression. Chapter and Verse serves as manifestation of this purpose.

Moving pictures

Check out the video of Alex Day’s opinion on what makes a good cocktail.

Check out a recipe of the ‘Heads Up’ from Alex Day.