Inside Look: All Season Brewing, Los Angeles - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Los Angeles’ stunning Streamline Moderne Firestone Tire and Service Center, built in 1937, serviced cars near the busy intersection of La Brea Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard for decades. In 2012, it was landmarked as a Historic Cultural Monument. But after the service center’s closure in 2016, the boarded-up building languished for months. Architecture fans and neighbors grew nervous about its fate in a city maligned for having no history. Finally in 2019, hospitality group Pouring With Heart (The Varnish, Seven Grand) announced plans to transform the 13,000-square-foot adaptive-reuse space into a brewpub and restaurant. After a pandemic-induced delay, All Season Brewing Company rolled open its garage doors in February 2021.

A Passion Project

As a third-generation Angeleno, vintage car restorer, and interior designer, Matt Winter of M Winter Design was the ideal rescuer. His connection to the old building stretches back 20 years. When Winter was a teenager, he drove his rebuilt hot rods to the Firestone building to photograph them.

In 2017 he returned, this time photographing and documenting the building’s every detail, even corners where tiles come together. “When we got the space, the goal for me was to respect and save as much of the originality of the building interior-wise, exterior-wise,” he says. “And then anything and everything that we brought in would just support it from the back end as far as color tones.” 

The brewpub’s design would embrace the building’s automotive history. Old car parts excavated from the garage’s crawl spaces decorated the walls. Winter designed banquettes to look like 1930s truck benches and brought in vintage car parts from his own garage. He also restored the coat hooks the original Firestone mechanics used and handpicked utilitarian furniture pieces. The driveway transitioned seamlessly into a spacious outdoor patio. “I definitely use the fact that it was an automotive center to really force the hand of the design a little bit,” he says. 

Challenges of Preserving

Winter replicated the building’s exterior porcelain-enameled steel panels, a popular design feature of automotive buildings of that era. To clean the ceilings, he walnut-shell blasted them. “It was just an interesting thing to figure out how to work with these materials but also just bring them back to life,” he marvels.

But the biggest challenge Winter encountered was updating the space to modern safety standards while retaining its period design. The Department of Building and Safety insisted the safety updates stand out, like shiny, brand-new aluminum doors. Winter demurred, wanting to make them appear period correct. Eventually, the department allowed him to paint the doors black so they wouldn’t stand out.

Yet another challenge was outfitting the old garage space as a restaurant. When Winter needed to run in new plumbing lines, the historical preservation board wouldn’t allow him to dig up the original red floors or pour new concrete. “So we mixed red paint into the aggregate when we poured the concrete to try and get it to match,” he says. “And then we restored and polished and waxed the floors. And they’re gorgeous. They’re perfect.” 

All in the Details

As for the eye-catching Firestone neon sign that towers atop the building, unfortunately, it will never be fired up. Since Firestone Complete Auto Care still exists, the tire company didn’t want the brewpub mistaken as a service center. Also, there’s the matter of Firestone Walker Brewing Company. “We obviously can’t take the sign down because it’s historical,” Winter explains. “But we don’t want to necessarily light it up and tell people we’re the Firestone Brewery, because we’re not.” Instead Winter installed a neon “All Season Brewing” sign hanging down from the roofline since it couldn’t interfere with the view of the original sign.

Ultimately, all of Winter’s efforts and attention to details were rewarded. All Season Brewing/Firestone store won the Windsor Square Hancock Park historical preservation society landmark award for interior design and overall restoration. “I didn’t want [the All Season design] to be kitschy,” he says. “But at the same time, I definitely wanted it to resonate and to pay homage today to the automotive history and world that it was living under.”

Check out the May/June 2022 issue to read more about breweries that have set up shop in unusual locations.

Enjoy This Article?

Sign up for our newsletter and get biweekly recipes and articles delivered to your inbox.

Send this to a friend