West Hollywood’s Bottega Louie is opening. For real.
Chris Bollenbach, one of the partners in the company that owns the well-known Bottega Louie restaurant, market, and patisserie in downtown Los Angeles, confirmed to WEHOville that the West Hollywood location will open on Nov. 9.
Bollenbach said that initially only the Bottega Louie patisserie will be open, allowing customers to take away items including its popular French Macaron cookies and other baked goods. He said the restaurant would open slowly to ensure the safety of its staff, its customers, and its vendors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently restaurants are not allowed to offer indoor dining. However, Bottega Louis, which is at 8936 Santa Monica Blvd., has a large rear patio and an outside dining area in front of the restaurant which can be used for outdoor dining so long as certain health orders are complied with.
“We are going through an iterative process,” Bollenbach said. “At some time we will feel that we can open the kitchen.”
Bollenbach said that he was excited to finally begin the opening of the West Hollywood Bottega Louie. The long-anticipated opening comes after years of negotiating the city’s complex licensing and approval process and dealing with complaints from a resident of the West Hollywood West neighborhood about the possible impact of noise from the restaurant’s rear outdoor dining area.
The city granted Bottega Louie the required permit in June 2016. Its owners, Bollenbach and Kevin McKellar, partnered with David Cooley, owner of The Abbey, who had taken over the space to open a restaurant named Cooley’s. They had planned to open Bottega Louie in 2017.
But working their way through the process took a long time, and the opening was finally scheduled for Dec. 19 last year. However, a week before that, the owners announced they were postponing the opening to March 2020 and laid off the restaurant’s employees, who had been training for weeks.
The restaurant occupies an 8,900 square foot space and will have an estimated 200 seats. The menus at Bottega Louie in West Hollywood are expected to mirror those of the downtown location including breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch along with beer, wine, and cocktails.
The restaurant occupies spaces that once housed Raffi’s Jewelers, the Balliamos dance studio and Unicorn Alley, an “adult” store. That block between Robertson and San Vicente boulevards has undergone substantial changes over the last six or seven years. Lisa Vanderpump’s PUMP restaurant and bar opened on the southeast corner of Santa Monica and Robertson and attracts a crowd fascinated with reality TV celebrities like her. Vanderpump also has opened, and expanded, Tom Tom, another restaurant and bar on the same block. Both are now closed because of the pandemic. Another bar and restaurant on the block is Beaches, and on the southwest corner of Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards is the very popular Rocco’s sports bar and restaurant, which is still busy with a large outdoor seating area.