André Saraiva, Artist + Restaurateur
Known globally for his creation of Mr. A, André Saraiva is a Parisian-based graffiti artist and restaurateur we have always admired. His latest bar, The Friend, recently opened its doors in Silver Lake and we were lucky enough to step into his world.
Four With Andre
Four Minutes. Four Questions. Four Answers.
Adding to the new nightlife haven that is Silver Lake’s Hyperion Avenue, André Saraiva, Mickey Madden, and Jared Meisler, all joined together to bring The Friend to life. We sat down with André himself for his first interview on The Friend—and here’s what he so eloquently shared.
What inspired you to open The Friend? Why did you choose Silver Lake?
I’ve had the idea of opening a bar with my two best friends from LA for a long time, so when we found this space in Silver Lake, we had to take over—and we named it The Friend.
Can you tell us a bit more about the aesthetic and what inspired it?
Creating a new place is like making a drawing or a painting. The colors have to be in harmony and the lines have to be in perfect balance. For me, creating a place is like painting watercolor.
What do you hope The Friend will become?
We came up with The Friend for it to become a cool neighborhood bar.
What made you choose the name?
By working with two of my best friends from LA, The Friend’s name came naturally to us.
Words From A Friend
An Interview With Jared Meisler
We sat down with Jared Meisler, co-owner of The Friend, to dive deeper into the Silver Lake haven for creatives, artists, locals, and beyond.
Tell us about the sentiment behind The Friend.
Sometimes you go to a bar to meet your friend, sometimes you make friends at the bar, and sometimes the bar is your friend.
Did you know that you wanted to be in Silver Lake?
We were looking all over and I’ve been wanting to do something in Silver Lake for the past 10 years. Finding the right location and being available at the right time is challenging, but we were so stoked to find Silver Lake because Mickey Madden—one of our partners—lives here. It’s home to a lot of artists and musicians, and people that we wanted to come hang out here with us.
It’s a very functional space with a lot of elements. It’s a bar, there’s food, and people are playing games. Is that something that you wanted?
Absolutely. We wanted it to feel intimate. It’s small enough that you can fill it with a room of friends, but big enough that you can spread out a little bit and have some fun.
What pieces of each of you do you feel is sitting in this space?
The first thing that pops out is the look and that is very much André. It’s so playful and fun. I feel like one could feel like they’ve stepped into one of his paintings here. Mickey has curated all the music and put together all the playlists. I think part of my brand is the hospitality, making nice drinks, and helping the chef!
What’s the inspiration behind the menu?
The food is sort of an amped up bar menu. It’s all kind of small and casual, but French inspired —especially with André being French.
What’s the spirit? It’s very European.
First and foremost, we wanted to create a friendly environment—and right after that is relaxed and fun. We wanted it to feel intimate. It’s small enough that you can fill it with a room of friends, but big enough that you can spread out a little bit and have some fun.
What are you dreams for the space?
We’re already seeing it as a sort of artist’s hub and where different people from different walks of life can gather—the point is that I’d like to create something that’s for everyone and have a diverse crowd.