By Shea Parton
Photos by Oliver Kish for Apolis
Community: Wurstküche Restaurant, Traction Avenue Series
Our neighborhood in Los Angeles’ arts district consists of a unique mix of entrepreneurs and artists. Whether it’s Hewitt alley being the weekly stage for mainstream music videos, students at southern California’s Institute of Architecture looking over our shoulder, the resting place for legendary painter Henry Taylor, the home for Cleveland’s trophy industrial design, or the sought after destination for downtown dining. Traction Avenue has developed a community with like minded leaders valuing hard work and uncompromising excellence. Prompting our neighborhood series where we feature the stories of inspiring friends. To start off, meet childhood friend, Tyler Wilson (23), and his cousin, Joseph Pitruzzelli (28). They visited our office in 2007 and noticed a vacant 3,200 square feet space that shares our east wall. They signed a lease months later and began a year of preparation with power lines coming through our sun roof and their walls covered by our inventory racks. Their ambitious venture known as Wurstküche, German for sausage kitchen - is exotic sausages, Belgian fries and German beer. Wilson and Pitruzzelli’s entrepreneurial attitude confidently waged through doubts, and opened doors in November 2008 with forty employees servicing over 800 sausages a day. Their Belgian fries translate to 3,500 pounds of potatoes a week and they are selling more premium imported beer than any other single establishment in California. A story of success supported by: USC and USF business schools, dynamite families, and a critical eye for composition and design. It is exciting to watch an emerging corner of Los Angeles become a pulse for today’s culture.