1710 W. Magnolia Blvd. Burbank, CA 91506 Neighborhood· Burbank
There is something about a good neighborhood bar that keeps a community happy. Remember Cheers? They didn’t just sing that song for nothing, you know. A good bar is a place you can return to time and time again, order your favorite beer, relax and yes, everybody does know your name.
Tony’s Darts Away exhibits classic neighborhood bar qualities. It feels like it’s been there for ages. It’s honest. It’s comfortable. It’s real. It also doesn’t hurt that the beers are pretty good too. It’s a local business that gives back to other local businesses.
In addition, they serve only draught beer, which ensures low waste – they consider the environment too, so that’s pretty cool. They serve up good food, worthy to feed even the most purest of vegans. Yeah, that’s right, vegans.
This past April, Tony’s Darts Away celebrated their 4 year anniversary. A young-bar-with-an-old-soul, TDA was transformed when owner Tony Yanow bought the once seedy dive bar (Also called Tony’s) and jazzed it up as a local Burbank hang out.
Coming off the success of TDA, Yanow opened up Mowhawk Bend shortly after catering to a more trendy Silver Lake scene and subsequently, his super-fast growing beer company, Golden Road Brewing with co-owner Meg Gill.
I paid Tony’s Dart’s Away a visit on their anniversary weekend and chatted with Anthony Pecos, their general manager about what it’s been like for him since he started working with TDA. We chatted about his relationship with the bar and how he’s watched it grow since 2001. Read on for the interview.
Backyard Bite: Thanks for chatting with Backyard Bite! So, I hear you’ve been a big part of TDA since the beginning. Tell me more about the roles you’ve played.
Anthony: I was part of the opening team for TDA 4 years ago. I literally helped build the tables and chairs. I came in and worked for Tony for about 6 months here, and then they did an opening at Mohawk Bend and I worked there for about a year and 3 months as a manager. Then, they had just opened Golden Road and Tony asked me, can you go work over at Golden Road? It was a Friday and Tony was like can you start on Monday? So, I managed the bar there. We opened Chloe’s, started table service… I was there for over a year and a half.
BYB: Wow, so you’ve been a part of all three of the businesses!
Anthony: Yeah. They eventually planted the seed for me to return to TDA and now I’m here again and I’ve been back now since last December. I’ve worked for this company for about 4 years now and it’s great. It’s like a big family.
BYB: What’s it like now since you’ve been back?
Anthony: It’s awesome. Sales are up, everyone is happy. There’s a wide range of beers and it’s consistently good. We are always sourcing out if possible. It’s not just Golden Road beers either. Our beers, wine, sodas, meats, they are all from California, sourced locally. We always try to incorporate stuff from the neighborhood too. San Marco Bakery provides our breads for instance.
BYB: What’s the camaraderie like working here? What’s it like working for Tony?
Anthony: We have an amazing team of people here. There’s no need for micro managing, everyone just knows to do their job. For our anniversary, Tony bought everyone custom Nike’s. He takes the whole staff out at times – we’ll get lunch together or go bowling. For our anniversary, Tony was like, ‘you know what? Let’s all go get massages and beers.’
BYB: What was it like during your 4th Anniversary weekend?
Anthony: On that Friday, it was the busiest night I’ve ever worked. It was shoulder-to-shoulder packed. We had special commemorative beer glasses – they sold out right away.
BYB: I’ve noticed at all of Tony’s restaurants there’s a heavy focus on vegan food. There are a lot of organic, locally sourced products.
Anthony: Yep. Well, Tony is vegan and he likes craft beer. So, he wanted to open up a bar that also serves food for vegans. We have a vegan burrito, there’s a vegan sausage, vegan chili-dog, (salads, sides, etc)… We change the menu every single week – Monday through Friday and we have a brunch menu. We have to change it up often because we have regulars who come in three, four times a week, so we have to keep it exciting and interesting for them.
BYB: Who’s in charge of your beer selection?
Anthony: Lauren O’Neil is our beer curator. She is the ultimate beer nerd. She just knows everything – she’s awesome. She buys all the beer for Mohawk Bend and all the beer for us. She’s responsible for roughly 110 taps. She was the one with Tony buying all the beer for Coachella.
BYB: Oh right, Coachella! Tony helped to curate the new craft “Beer Barn” at this year’s Coachella Music Festival. How cool was that!?
Anthony: Coachella is always innovative – pushing the envelope each year. This year they wanted to have a beer barn featuring craft beer. Both TDA and Mohawk Bend set up kitchens too. We set up basically a kitchen in the desert. It was exciting for our brand to be there! Tony, basically curated a smorgasbord of over 120 to 150 craft beers in the barn.
BYB: That sounds so awesome. I know Coachella stepped up their food game this year – it’s nice to know they also considered their beer selection too.
Anthony: Yeah, we were happy to be involved. We like to connect with the community as much as possible. People were happy to see us there.
BYB: You guys are like a favorite local bar from back home. Wouldn’t you say? It’s a real neighborhood spot.
Thanks for chatting with us!
Throughout the month of May, TDA will be featuring specialty cocktails and beers for Cinco de Mayo, Tuesday’s at Tony’s and Mother’s Day. For the full calendar of events check out Tony’s Dart’s Away’s Facebook Page.
For tickets and info check out Tickefly.com