September 23rd, Modern Times Beer tweeted its intention "to open a pilot brewery, restaurant, and specialty coffee shop in Los Angeles." Six months later, almost to the day, it revealed it has secured a location in downtown L.A.’s blooming South Park neighborhood for what it's calling the Dankness Dojo.
Modern Times founder and CEO Jacob McKean notes that the Point Loma–based company sells nearly as much beer in Los Angeles as it does in San Diego, so he'll be serving an established fan base with this expansion. He adds, "I grew up in L.A., and I really want to contribute to the renaissance that's happening downtown…. [It's] becoming one of the most walkable, bike-friendly urban centers in the country, and those are things I deeply value."
Reflecting another of McKean's values will be the brewpub's vegan food service, the particulars of which have yet to be determined. He does note the space will also highlight the other side of Modern Times' beverage interest — coffee.
One of the only breweries in the country that doubles as a coffee roaster, Modern Times sells whole beans and cold brew in its beer-tasting rooms in San Diego, as well as wholesale clients including Whole Foods. However, it has not to date run a dedicated coffee retail shop. The Los Angeles location will house a full-service coffee bar offering espresso and pour-over drinks, for starters.
Beer-wise, McKean refers to the new brewery as "an R&D facility," producing small batches — about 1500 barrels per year, compared to approximately 38,000 anticipated this year out of Point Loma.
There's no target date set for the L.A. expansion, but when it opens San Diegans may expect some of those pilot beers to show up in local tasting rooms. No word on a Modern Times coffee shop showing up in San Diego, but McKean does hint more expansions may be on the horizon. "I love building weird little pockets of radness," he says, "and the world could always use more of them."