LOUNGE: A new music and entertainment venue is opening Downtown at 5th and Arizona.

A cocktail lounge with live music and cabaret shows is landing in downtown Santa Monica in early August.

Canary is moving into the low-slung black building West End occupied at the corner of 5th Street and Arizona Avenue (1301 5th Street). The bar, which closed earlier this year, billed itself as the only true nightclub in Santa Monica. Canary will offer a more refined nightlife experience, said Nas Negahban and Wen Yeh, who are also behind three West Los Angeles bars: Belmont, Bruhaus and Neat. 

Negahban and Yeh, who were all born and raised in Santa Monica, said their entry into the city’s nightlife scene will skew older than The Bungalow and younger than Bar Chloe, targeting a category of residents and professionals who want a sophisticated but lively night out.

“There’s a lot to be desired in terms of nightlife in downtown Santa Monica,” Negahban said. “It’s becoming way more desirable in the world of restaurants, but there isn’t really a nice venue you can go before or after dinner.”

They’re hoping to fill that gap with specialty cocktails from bartender Devon Espinosa, small bites and live performances from jazz musicians and burlesque dancers in a modern, tropical space. The interior will be emerald green and gold, with live plants and beachy lounge furniture.

“It’ll be a very elevated, upscale experience that nowhere else in town is offering,” Yeh said. “Other places may have beautiful decor and views, but we’re going bring a live experience to Santa Monica.”

The lounge will be open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. In addition to DJs, it will host live performances on Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights.

While a precise opening date has not been finalized, the owners said Canary will open sometime in the first week of August. The lounge will send out an email blast with an opening date to anyone who signs up on its website, canarysm.com.


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