DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – Local food lovers may have a hard time swallowing this, but two celebrated chefs who had planned on opening new spots in Downtown said they won’t be coming to the neighborhood anytime soon.
Former Church & State chef Walter Manzke said his plans to open a new French restaurant in the Arts District are no longer going forward, at least for now.
Similarly, Krissy Lefebvre, wife and business partner of French Chef Ludovic Lefebvre who said last year that they were focusing on locations in the Arts District to open a new permanent restaurant, said they did not find a spot in the neighborhood.
In an email to Downtown News this morning Lefebvre said that while they’ll have an official announcement regarding those plans in a week or so, it seems Downtown won’t be the place for their first restaurant.
“As of right now we have not found the right space in Downtown, but hope to one day,” she said.
Lefebvre has held several of his LudoBites pop-up restaurants — the culinary road show where he moves into a space for a few months, draws raves, then shuts down — in Downtown. He’s sold out every seating during his stops at Gram & Papa’s in Fashion District.
And last year Manzke announced plans to open an 8,000-square-foot restaurant called Republique in a brick structure at the Factory Place Arts Complex in the Arts District.
Now Manzke said he is opening Republique in the space that now houses Campanile restaurant on La Brea Avenue.
“I am (at least for the moment) not moving forward with Factory Place,” he said in an email to Downtown News. “The decision is based entirely on timing and the opportunity at Campanile.”
However, he left open the possibility of returning Downtown. “When the time is right, I still plan to do something in Downtown. Hopefully together with Howard and Matt,” he said referring to Howard and Matt Klein, the father and son developers of Factory Place.
“Although we believed that Walter was totally committed to our project and the prospect of being Downtown, an irresistible deal was presented to him,” Matt Klein said in an email.
©Los Angeles Downtown News.