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.
SOOooo happy you are finally here!! Welcome to the neighborhood!!
I have a feeling that if this place was opening in most any other state it would have happened years ago. California is not business friendly at all, to the point of being absurd sometimes. What people who want to open a business here go through is just unbelievable and most of us have no idea.
Still don’t understand which “residential neighbors” complained about possible noise from the back patio. The neighbors are an alley and a basketball court which is constant noise when in use. There is not a residence anywhere near the back of that restaurant. Anyone got any insight into/tea on/goss about who exactly was trying to thwart their opening and why?
Wondered about that too, Frank!
That would be the west hollywood west people
I was at one of the hearings and it was odd. None of the people raising these issues look familiar and it looked as if some rival business had just sent some people out to create phony issues.
At last! Cookies, cookies & more cookies!
I’ll believe it when I see it.
The design and furnishings are glorious. Combined with their established high-quality fare, their success is assured, even now.
Bonus points for the bronze script ‘Louie’ signature on the onyx surround of the display window!
Is anyone able to shed light on why the opening was delayed from December 2019 to March 2020 initially?
And on whether the laid-off servers were re-offered their positions hopefully?
They did not rehire anyone. Also fired everyone right before Christmas last year, and fired all of their employees during the pandemic.
Thank you for the info and sorry to hear that! Was it a permit issue or do you or someone else know the cause of the delay?
We were not offered our positions. I was hired last November and when they laid us off, they said we have to reapply.
We are really looking forward to this long awaited opening. We needed some good news and Bottega Louie will be a great success.
Like the old lady in Titanic said:
It’s been 84 years…
Glad they are opening again. #MoveWestHollywoodForward
good news. the beginning of cleaning up SMB.
Wow. I believe this is your first ever, positive post. Congratulations.
Your subtlety is sublime, Jeffery.
Based on previous comments what he means by “cleaning up SMB” is that gay businesses are being crowded out and replaced.
I agree. He complains about noise from West Hollywood’s Gay bars and clubs. However, no one forced him to move here. As far back as 1978, when I moved back to L.A, West Hollywood has been a party town. Now, it looks like it will be a diner town.
SMB could use a makeover.