On our radar of late: Bottega Louie, an unlikely restaurant, market, and bar that brings turn-of-the-century Viennese Kaffeehaus grandeur to downtown Los Angeles.
The palatial 10,000-square-foot restaurant is on the ground floor of the Brockman Building, a 1912 Classical Romanesque Revival structure that sits on the corner of Seventh and Grand. Keat Bollenbach (a young entrepreneur and co-owner with Daniel Flores), was instrumental in the design process, according to Michael Rominske of View Design Studio. The aim was "to create an old style European experience," says Rominske, who adds that "finding the building really helped create the experience from the outside in."
The interior was a raw concrete space that Rominske transformed by whitewashing the walls, ceilings, and columns and by laying carrara marble on the floor. To counterbalance the white, he brought in warm wood and bronze detailing. Oversized floor-to-ceiling windows allow light to flood into the white interior, putting the packed urban crowd on full display to passersby at night. For more information visit Bottega Louie.
Above: Brass-detailed wood panels were added to the base of the concrete columns. The hostess table was custom made locally, inspired by furniture pieces Bollenback admired. The rear wall, covered in subway tile, is in the kitchen area that houses the pizza oven.
Above: Marble-clad bistro tables in the bar area for more casual dining.
Above: Brass is used throughout the restaurant, from the railing above the black banquette to the brass-trimmed windows at street level.
Above: The kitchens are on full view. The millwork on the wood counter (and throughout the space) was inspired by an antique piece of furniture that Bollenbach owned and subsequently took apart to create molds for this project.
Above: Bottega Louie is an emporium of sorts, with a market for takeout food as well as a full patisserie. Goods are on display on the wall of brass shelving.
Above: Towers of colorful macaroons on display.
Above: Vibrantly hued macaroons (L) and boxed chocolate (R).
Above: The bar area with breakfast diners.
Above: The bathrooms echo the recurring elements of brass and marble used in the restaurant. A contrasting marble is used for the sinks.
Above: The historical Brockman Building lit up at night.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 12, 2012.