After closing for two years, a Sherman Oaks stalwart returns with a vengeance.
CategoryEat & Drink
WRITTEN BYJOSHUA LURIE
Stanley’s, with its large, comfy bar and charming outdoor patio was a staple in Sherman Oaks for 32 years. Two of its bartenders had been there since the very beginning; diners could always count on the salads being fresh and crisp and the burgers being perfectly cooked. The restaurant even survived a spate of nearby openings, including Sweet Butter, just across the street. There always seemed to be a steady crowd, so longtimers were stunned when Stanley’s suddenly closed in 2015. Everyone wondered: what happened?
Turns out the owners—Greg Sadofsky, Ramin Ghaffar and Luis Morales—lost their lease. A new landlord replaced them with Te’kila, an existing tenant from Hollywood. Instead of sulking, they immediately plotted a return, but where? Eighteen months later, the old Fab’s spot became available—a prime corner space just south of Ventura Boulevard. The trio signed a lease and launched renovations.
“I thought we’d be immediately busy but not this busy. It’s been fun and stressful.”
Greg says, “We were at our original location on Ventura for over 30 years, and it only seemed right to continue serving in an area we know and love.”
The community is apparently returning that love. Drive by Stanley’s on any night, and you’ll see a crowd spilling out onto the sidewalk.
“It’s been amazing,” says Greg. “I thought we’d be immediately busy but not this busy. It’s been fun and stressful.” Stanley’s is open daily from lunch through dinner, and even during standard lulls, the restaurant is drawing crowds to order classics like Amy’s grapefruit salad, rotisserie chicken and burgers by the bushel.
The space now features a powder blue façade with high-backed grey booths, aqua banquettes and a full bar that faces flat screen TVs.
Art dons the walls, courtesy of nearby MRG Fine Art gallery, which rotates paintings. During our recent visit, eye-catching pieces ranged from colorful abstract shapes to a young kid in a Detroit hat, rocking chains.
Greg says he recognizes a number of repeat customers who “pretty much know what to expect,” but adds he is also seeing faces from a younger generation. He credits a “different vibe” and “homier feel” for part of the appeal. The restaurant is also on a highly visible corner along Van Nuys Boulevard. Surrounded by homes and condos, Stanley’s now enjoys more of a neighborhood feel and plenty of foot traffic.
The new space does pose certain logistical challenges. The original location was much larger, with more seating and a big patio. “We’ve had to scrap for space,” Greg says. “We had more storage space, everything.” Not that they’re complaining. Although dozens of new restaurants opened in the area while they were closed, Stanley’s may have been gone, but it was not forgotten.
Stanley’s | 4336 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks | 818-453-8025