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After Lengthy Buildout, Bottega Louie Set to Serve on Restaurant Row

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, March 13, 2009, at 04:44PM
Bottega Louie Eric Richardson [Flickr]

On entering from 7th street, patrons will be greeted by fresh baked goods and coffee.

After what has seemed like an eternity of waiting to Downtowners eager for mid-range eating options, restaurant and market Bottega Louie is finally set to make its debut early next month. Leasing of the 10,000 square foot space at 7th and Grand was announced in May of 2007, but the results appear to have been worth the delay.

When the doors do open, patrons will find an 185-seat restaurant, a gourmet market and cafe seating for those drinking coffee or eating sandwiches.

The Downtown Center BID has long pushed 7th street as Restaurant Row, but offerings have been slow to open. Bottega Louie sits at an important space mid-way between the Financial District and Historic Core.

The concept for Bottega Louie actually started forming three years ago, when the owners took a look at a 2,500 square foot space in Beverly Hills as a potential site for a pizzeria offering true neapolitan pies. How did they get from that to the 10,000 square foot market / restaurant. "The concept grew," says Bottega Louie President Daniel Flores.

It was the team's real estate agent who suggested taking a look at Downtown, where they eventually struck a deal to lease the ground floor of the Brockman Building.

The gold and dark wood design used throughout the space was inspired by an antique cabinet. The millwork required to replicate the design touches took eighteen months.

The market and cafe occupy the Grand avenue side of the space, offering fresh items for take-home and eat-in purchases. Cafe tables will offer a place to drink coffee, enjoy WIFI or eat a sandwich. Breakfast items will be available starting at 6:30am.

As the evening gets later, the cafe space will shift its focus to the bar that separates restaurant from market. The focus will be on cocktails that again feature fresh ingredients. The team plans to stay open until midnight or 1am, but wants to let traffic dictate where the closing time settles.

Diners will walk past the bar and an open-view front kitchen to get to the 185-seat restaurant. With that many seats, Bottega Louie plans to just take walk-ins, eschewing reservations.

Flores is excited to finally get patrons into the space. "I'm hoping it becomes the kind of business that makes people and their lifestyle feel great," he says. He hopes people can see "the amount of care that's gone into crafting a business that fits into Downtown."

Eventually, the 80 residential units upstairs will provide more tenants for the restaurant and market. The building now sits empty, though, as the developer struggles to stay afloat. Asked whether that worried him, Flores said that he wished the building's situation was more settled, but that he was just focused on getting the restaurant open.

Bottega Louie hopes to see plenty of pedestrian traffic from nearby offices and residential, but will be offering valet service on Grand Avenue. A grand opening is planned for April 6.


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