CH Projects Partners With Folk Arts Rare Records To Open Part Time Lover
This project sounds amazing! CH Projects is unveiling Part Time Lover, a hi-fi listening bar and record store that will be a cultural hub rooted in music, in the former Bar Pink.
A curated community listening bar
Part Time Lover will align the storied lineage of its location with CH Projects’ partnership with Folk Arts Rare Records, a San Diego institution for vinyl and music, who will curate the vinyl library.
The dual design of Part Time Lover allows for guests to enter the listening bar and imbibe on coffee and cocktails while listening to music or enter the record store, positioned at the rear of the space, to explore the vinyl collection and purchase records.
“We wanted to pay homage to the space’s roots in local music, while expanding and opening people up to new music. If they hear something that resonates, they can actually buy the record while there,” says Arsalun Tafazoli.
The bar program
The bar program revolves around drinking simply and affordably with the primary focus being Japanese American highballs. The key variable with traditional Japanese highballs is that the drinking experience is generally intended for a longer, more sessionable venture, which complements the listening experience well.
Focused on cold and carbonated, most drinks will be served in a frozen highball glass over a custom ice spear sourced from Penny Pound Ice.
Cocktail offerings such as the In Kaiju — a cooling, refreshing neon-green melon and mint-inspired beverage — made with Japanese Vermouth, a touch of aquavit, and a tiny splash of lemon, married with highly carbonated sparkling water from the bar’s in-house system, are part of the menu.
Dang Nguyen, former managing partner of Bar Pink, will be the manager at Part Time Lover, maintaining a connection to the longstanding neighborhood bar.
A legendary setting to share cultural passions
Open day to night, Part Time Lover will allow record collectors to play albums from their own collections, creating opportunities for music lovers to share their cultural passions in a legendary setting.
Honoring a sense of musical discovery, Tim Mays (owner of The Casbah) will help facilitate the booking of notable music selectors from existing live shows he books all over the city, to play their own sets on the custom hi-fi wheel-to-reel system.
Welcoming audiophiles as well as the general public, Part Time Lover takes an academic approach that ties together a lauded music history in San Diego and a special acoustic experience keeping the space’s legacy intact.
About Folk Arts Rare Records
Folk Arts Rare Records was founded in 1967 by the great Lou Curtiss, a tireless champion of American Roots music, and mentor to musicians like Tom Waits. Lou organized countless celebrated concerts in San Diego, including over 50 music festivals.
Curtiss was known for his immense knowledge of music, and customers at Folk Arts included the aforementioned Tom Waits, Horace Silver, and RuPaul. Lou retired in 2014 and Folk Arts was purchased by Brendan Boyle. Over the course of seven years, Boyle has expanded Folk Arts into a wildly eclectic selection of music, housed in visual splendor here in San Diego.
“We are very excited about partnering with CH to help facilitate and foster the discovery and appreciation of international music, jazz, ambient, modern underground music, good time rock ’n roll and much more. The partnership is an opportunity to expand Folks Arts’ vision of listening, wonder, curiosity, sharing and joy,” said Brendan Boyle.
The sound system
The sound system uses bespoke analog components in pursuit of a uniquely natural yet powerful high-fidelity listening experience, built by Chicago-based, Uncanned Music. The heart of the sound system is four corners of Klipschorn speakers powered by McIntosh tube amplifiers.
The DJ booth has Technics SL1200 turntables feeding a Condesa rotary mixer, split to a pair of Otari tape machines for non-stop all-analog recording of DJ sets from LP straight to 1/4″ tape, creating Part Time Lover’s library of custom tape reels for playback.
That library will expand and grow in collaboration with the Wheel-To-Reel concept in which music sets are taped live and archived as a permanent and singular piece of Part Time Lover’s collection. Guests will be able to pull and play previously recorded sets from visiting musicians who played their favorites to locals.
The east meets west design
Part Time Lover was designed by CH Projects’ Department of Interior led by Taylor Leage. The design is primarily inspired by the Prairie School Aesthetic which was lionized by Frank Lloyd Wright, who was heavily influenced by Japanese art and culture and who lived in Tokyo while working on the Imperial Hotel.
Wright’s talent for blending the aesthetic details of east and west and his approach inspired CH when developing the bar. Manifesting the east-meets west ethos rooted in listening bars and kissaten (small cafes in Tokyo) along with Americana, the team saw Wright’s work as the ideal bridge for Part Time Lover’s design. With eight large oak framed triangles coming together to create a large custom chandelier that anchors the room, the clean lines come together to create a simple but overwhelming effect.
North Park tattoo artist and shop owner, Honkeykonger, custom designed wall paper with a nod to Bar Pink to maintain another through-line of the history of the project. The open layout was designed for unobstructed sound, but to also be a space where music connoisseurs can converge.
Characterized by horizontal lines and angular shapes that dominate the room, almost everything in Part Time Lover has been custom-built by local craftsmen. The classic 1930’s Brunswick Art Deco triple arch back bar embraces a classic vernacular, while the furniture takes a crafted Midwest approach with the bar and table lamps custom made for the space by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
See you there!
Open from 4PM-midnight with expanded hours coming later, Part Time Lover is located at 3829 30th Street, North Park.
We can’t wait.
See you there, San Diego!