Decades Launch Parties at Formosa Cafe

Midori Sour at Formosa Cafe

Remember Formosa Cafe? Old Hollywood and glitzy celeb hangout were words that came to mind but in the last few years, it’s turned into a bit of a dive bar. But you could see the potential of it being restored to its former glory. The drinks list needed to be updated but who was right for the job? Owner Vince Jung, the grandson of one of the original Formosa Cafe owners met bartender Kate Grutman one evening. He was fascinated by her creativity. Could and would she help restore the aging glamour queen to her rightful place where stars and would be starlets would imbibe?

For months, Kate Grutman and her team have been revamping Formosa Cafe’s drinks menu. They’ve also done subtle but much needed improvements. The tables and bar are now topped with brass and there will be a lounge in the attached train car. Next week starting on Thursday, May 31st, Formosa Cafe plans on four days of parties to launch the new drinks menu. Each party is themed after decades.

  • May 31- 40s
  • June 1- 50s
  • June 2- 70s
  • June 3 – 80s

Come dressed the part as there will be a photo booth in the back to capture the memories.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the cocktails Kate has placed on the menu:

Cocchi & Bols

Cocchi & Bols (affectionately nicknamed Cock and Balls) – Cocchi Americano, Bols Genever, Maraschino, lemon

Midori Sour– with homemade Midori, vodka, lemon

Byrr– Byrr & Carpano Antica

White Owl – Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin and 3 different vermouths


White Owl

I also heard about a fabulous Bloody Mary. Kate has infused duck confit with Akvinta Vodka to go with Formosa’s great Bloody Mary mix. The Bloody will be topped with fried spam. That’s right, spam lovers, your day has come.

I’m also looking forward to the Asian-inspired, neo-tropical and neo-tiki style drinks Kate has in mind. A little birdie told me about her experimentation with boba. The Taiwanese treat has been boozed up with creme de menthe. Vince has also been working on the food menu so new items are in the works. This is a great case of the bar working with the kitchen to create spectacular drinks and food.

old bar

new bar

What’s the main difference at the bar? The booze. Instead of the Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey machine, now you’ll find a selection of spirits curated by Kate. She favors wonderful spirits from the Leopold Bros. line, various amari and interesting liqueurs like Dumante, a spumoni smelling pistachio liqueur.


I can’t wait to have a cocktail with this stuff.

The updated Formosa Cafe

For those who fear Formosa Cafe has turned its back on its past, don’t worry. The staff will still accommodate you. Kate has even concocted a Zombie in honor of one of their regulars who always has a Mai Tai and Chardonnay (no, not at the same time).

Get ready to party in the decade(s) of your choice.. It starts at 8PM every night from May 31st to June 3rd.

Formosa Cafe

7156 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046 — (323) 850-9050

© The Minty 2012