French Market breaks ground

The French Market, a classic West Hollywood landmark long slated for redevelopment, finally broke ground today.

The project, located on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Laurel Ave., incorporates the original French Market structure with new construction on the adjacent lot.

The French Market’s rich history stretches back to the 1930s. The building once housed the famous French Quarter restaurant, a center of gay rights and AIDS activism, which shuttered in 2015.

The property was acquired by Faring, which originally planned to demolish the historic structure. Public outcry led to the hybrid design that is set to be built.

The reborn French Market will include into two restaurants, a subterranean bar, office space and retail.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister, Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne and Councilmember Lindsey Horvath.

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About Brandon Garcia
Brandon Garcia is editor of WEHOville. He oversees the website's editorial direction and creates original content such as news reports, photo and video features, digital art work and advertisements. A native of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, he now lives in WeHo and is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. @brandoninthebubble on Instagram

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Enough!
Enough!
7 months ago

Why are they all wearing masks outdoors? Ridiculous.

Kilroyrogers
Kilroyrogers
7 months ago
Reply to  Enough!

Just to be a little extra safe. Omicron is highly aerosol transmissible.

Last edited 7 months ago by Kilroyrogers
Chef Bernie
Chef Bernie
7 months ago

When is this Project expected to be completed?

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
7 months ago

I look forward to seeing this marvelous addition to the neighborhood. It achieves a good balance between respecting the history, and moving forward. I’m not one to paint all developers as inherently bad, some are, some aren’t. Faring seems to do a very good job of respecting and responding to the pulse of the community.

Enough!
Enough!
7 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Yes, I agree. Faring is a developer that respects the community. Very excited about this project and the Robertson Lane project!

Blair
Blair
7 months ago

I have seen stuff planned and disappear in WeHo so many times in the last 25 years. So just having a ceremony of Breaking Ground with some dirt piled up means very little nowadays with West Hollywood. WeHo gives and takes away with no rhyme or reason. Their follow through and leadership has become quite questionable.

Rudi Logan
Rudi Logan
7 months ago

I used to go there in the ’70s when it was the Louisiana Purchase known for its carrot cake. The French Quarter had wonderful angel hair pasta omelets and the wait staff was always outstanding.

Joshua88
Joshua88
7 months ago

I love the location, but I hope the new restaurants have better food than the original, which was mediocre.

Sean Moran
Sean Moran
7 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

I beg to differ- in it’s heyday there was no better buy! The Half Chicken platter or the three summer salad’s in season…LOVED BY US ALL!

Dave
Dave
7 months ago

How much parking will there be. Please tell me there will be plenty of it.

Blair
Blair
7 months ago
Reply to  Dave

The Parking is suppose to be underground… so more than is currently there…but expect more traffic there as well. So who knows if they will build enough.

angry gay pope
7 months ago

Building reuse is better than ripping up and rebuilding. Plus such history at the FM! I remember when all the local escorts would rush there on the last day their Frontiers Magazine escort ads were due to be paid for because that was, for some reason, a payment location. Hilarious and old school. In the internet age you might be asking “What is a magazine?”

Blair
Blair
7 months ago
Reply to  angry gay pope

A couple magazine publishers were in the building upstairs. Including some leather journal. I use to work at Dorthy’s Surrender and see him up stairs looking out on the diners.

Joël Huxtable
7 months ago

I still would prefer a food hall, rather than two fancy-pants resto’s. This is a working class area (I live around the corner), and many of us over here have long missed what was there before, and want more down to earth and affordable dining establishments. What’s nice is there is a trend started for this type of dining here — Tu Madre on Hayworth, and Birdies on the corner. This part of town has been forgotten for so long, it’s nice to see something happening.

Last edited 7 months ago by Joël Huxtable
Rudi Logan
Rudi Logan
7 months ago
Reply to  Joël Huxtable

I wouldn’t mind if someone reinvented The Silver Spoon. Great chicken-fried steak and country gravy.

Duh
Duh
7 months ago

Seems like they could have gone without the masks for just a moment.

Last edited 7 months ago by Duh
WehoFan
WehoFan
7 months ago
Reply to  Duh

Virtue signaling.

Huh?
Huh?
7 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

So a bunch of high profile figures doff their masks for photos at that football game, and you people rail against them as hypocrites.

Now a bunch of high profile figures keep their masks on for photos at this ceremony, and you people rail against them as virtue signalers.

It’s almost like you’re just reactivally grievanced against the entire world.

WehoFan
WehoFan
7 months ago
Reply to  Huh?

Careful who you call “you people”.

Enough!
Enough!
7 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

sounds a bit racists doesn’t it.

Sean Moran
Sean Moran
7 months ago
Reply to  Huh?

AMEN!

Enough!
Enough!
7 months ago
Reply to  Huh?

People made a fuss about high profile figures at a football game because they are the very same people telling everyone else they should be wearing a mask. It’s the hypocrisy that has gotten people’s panties in a bunch. Masks are not needed outdoors. Our council wearing them during this photo op was ridiculous.

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
7 months ago
Reply to  Duh

They didn’t want to pull a “Newsom”

Rudi Logan
Rudi Logan
7 months ago
Reply to  Duh

No harm in taking a little extra precaution. If those pictured had gone maskless, someone would have complained about that. These days, everyone’s a critic. Some people make a career of it.

UCSBGRAD
UCSBGRAD
7 months ago

I am excited for this project to get underway. I generally like Farring projects as they do try to listen to the residents of West Hollywood and try to incorporate things that we liked about the prior buildings. I can hardly wait to site outside at the restaurant to ge my breakfast and people watch. I also am interested to check out the subterranean bar.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
7 months ago

This is good news! The community should appreciate that Faring worked with our local preservationists, (thank you Roy Oldencamp), which is reflected in the lower facade which reminds me of the old French Market Place. Jake Stevens has a great shirt.
Now the big mystery is what will be happening to the adjacent lot to the west, from Laurel to Crescent Heights, the site of the now defunct Bank of America. Ideally we will see a real transformation of that portion of Santa Monica.

TomSmart
TomSmart
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Villa Noble is going in at Laurel. Yet another cannabis business. No on site parking either, compliments of City Hall.

pat russ
pat russ
7 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

I think the City Hall wants everyone on motorize bikes ….

Randy
Randy
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Indeed. This is my stomping ground, and I’m excited for some new things to come in. Now, what about that lot that the city owns on Crescent Heights and SMB again?

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