Claytons Public House: The Sound of Home
We reside in a city of sound. Sidewalks move with patterns of cultural cadence producing the crescendo of our DTLA urban orchestra. With a fast tempo beating through each block, it becomes vital to find a moment where the cities active rhythm can slow its pace. If you stand across the street from the historic Spring Arcade — the noise halts. Amber light glows with curious luminosity, offering the same hypnotizing feeling exuded by turn of the century art. Everything around will turn into a time-lapse, while its gold foil painted windows stand still. The warm call can’t and shouldn’t be ignored — go to it.
And when you do, the abundant internal treasures are yours to keep. Meet downtown’s newest neighbor, the enchanting Clayton’s Public House, a key instrument in our cities ensemble, and the pub we all deserve.
Clayton’s owners Tony Gower and Elizabeth Peterson-Gower breathe in their long-awaited triumph under the bar's centerpiece, mirrors hung from the church where the couple exchanged vows. Tony — electric with energy — chuckles, and glances into the reflection, “It’s there because we got married and took two steps to the bar. Elizabeth beams with pride, “this is our church now.” Clayton’s wood toned Victorian inspired soul will steal your heart the moment you enter the pub's vivacious air. To Tony, it’s a simple philosophy, “this is a turn of the century, LA pub.” His energetic and addicting smirk widens, “I might be English, and there might be fish n’ chips on the menu, but that’s as far as it goes.” Elizabeth with precise timing nails the sentiment, “This is a pub for Los Angeles.”
Clayton’s collage of spoils start with the bar stools, yes, it’s imperative to acknowledge they are built to be larger and softer for long visits — and the visits get lengthy. With thirty-two beers on tap, a Victorian-inspired cocktail list, and elevated gastropub fare that range from Scotch Eggs to Chipotle Braised Short Ribs with Cheesy Mash Potatoes — it’s hard to find any motivation to leave.
Order up a Mr. Chaplin, one of master mixer Krisi Jensen’s concoctions made with Sip Smith Sloe Gin, Hine Cognac, apricot liquor, lemon and a dry ice effect that adds a charismatic twist. The vapor bellowing over the glass matches the magic array of art pieces that make up the Pubs décor. Each portrait and painting is hung with intention, serving as a window to the vaudevillian past that ran LA before the glitz and glam of motion pictures arrived.
Look around our streets, we’re surrounded by sleeping giants. When they awake our urban tempo will increase, the cities sound will grow grander than ever. This pub in the Spring Arcade is a symphony of art, love, laughter and good times. A place where refuge pairs with warm hospitality, thus becoming the coveted home away from home. Within the noise of our growing city, Clayton’s Public House is music to our ears that undoubtedly, goes straight to the heart.
** Say hello to Jack the Pigeon for us. Can’t find him? Look up.
Written by Travis Platt | Photography by Robiee Ziegler