WESTWOOD—The Hammer Museum plans to expand the amenities offered at its museum café. The Westwood Neighborhood Council voted unanimously on Wednesday, May 10, to approve the museum’s requests for expansion.
The cafe will be open to the public, with extended opening hours from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, from its previous operating hours of 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., six days a week. A greater variety of alcohol will be available to customers. The café is now offering $5 weekday Happy Hour or weekend brunch, which is now served all day. The Museum maintains a strict policy that no alcoholic beverages may be taken off-site and does not serve beverages for the intent of consumption off-site.
According to Henry Clancy, the museum’s director of operations, who spoke with the Daily Bruin, the café will stay open regardless of special programs, though it previously closed for exclusive events.
The council approved to eliminate the “invite-only” and valet parking requirements for special events. Ample self-parking will be available on-site and the presence of a valet kiosk at the entrance during events may impede traffic flow resulting from queuing.
Beyond the changes to the café, the museum plans to expand and renovate its exhibition space to increase its size by 60 percent by 2020.
Clancy said he hopes the new addition will not only attract the UCLA community, but also the greater Los Angeles community. He explained that the changes are part of the plans to make the museum on par with other more prominent museums, like the Los Angles County Museum.
“The modifications will allow us to keep up with our peer institutions (like LACMA) in offering the type of visitor amenities museum patrons expect throughout Los Angeles,” Clancy said.
The Museum is located at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Westwood Boulevard, in the heart of a vibrant commercial area where the surrounding uses are predominately commercial office and retail space, with residential uses located farther beyond the adjacent commercial uses. The Museum will continue to provide adequate code-required parking based on the existing museum and restaurant uses, noted the WNCC.
The Hammer Museum, which opened to the public in 1990, was founded by Dr. Armand Hammer and designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, according to the museum’s website. The museum supports art and artists who challenge viewers and provide significant insight and perspectives.