"I really wasn't looking to expand anywhere, but when I first saw this space I got chills." So says New York music venue impresario Michael Swier, 60, of his new Los Angeles outpost the Teragram Ballroom, which officially opened downtown on May 31. The principal partner in Manhattan mainstays Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge, Swier has invested "close to $3 million" and nearly three years transforming a former silent movie theater built in 1913 and an adjacent diner into a 9,000-square-foot modern rock emporium with a 600-person capacity and nary a bad sight line.
Swier, along with Joe Baxley (Broadway Bar, Centrofly), his architect/designer brother Brian Swier and Michael Winsch, has stamped the unvarnished space with what Brian calls "the Bowery rock'n'roll aesthetic -- an eclectic brew of vernacular and modern, elegant and contextual." In plain English, that means a large and airy main room, three wooden bars, ample chill-out areas and subtle adornments like lit ceiling domes. Adding to Teragram's allure is its hip (and hipster) locale, a quick ride for music fans dwelling in the city's easterly Silver Lake, Echo Park and Los Feliz neighborhoods.
Click below for more photos of the new Teragram Ballroom.
This story originally appeared in the June 13 issue of Billboard.