The Eater got a little giddy with our newsmongering this week and dropped a couple items about two downtown restaurants: Windows, which closes on July 31, and Tatou, whose chef was touted on Hell's Kitchen this past Monday, but who's no longer the chef. We finally have the full stories. Read on.
First up: Windows. Brad Johnson, whose company operates the restaurant, says Windows is closing because the company that owns the building (LBA Realty) wants to turn the top floors into luxury penthouse office suites. "We're parting on good terms," he tells Eater. "We're not going out of business because we weren't successful." The restaurant has been around for at least 40 years; in fact, one server has been there since the beginning, and now his daughter also works there. "We'll be here until the end of July and our staff will be on," so those of you who've proposed, celebrated, or just want a nice icy martini overlooking the city, you have a good six weeks to get down there to reminisce. Johnson, who opened the Roxbury, Sunset Room, and myriad other storied Hollywood nightclubs and restaurants, said he has something else in the works, but he's not quite divulging what yet. Stay tuned.
One more thing: We were blorrected (corrected indirectly by a blogger, and yes, we just made that up) about Windows being the tallest restaurant in downtown: Blogdowntown reminds us that LA Prime on the 35th floor of the Bonaventure is the tallest restaurant, if you don't count the private 54th-floor City Club on Bunker Hill.
Tatou and Michael Wray. We admit, we've been obsessed with Michael Wray, FOX, and Hell's Kitchen since season one. Bear with us. Co-owner of Tatou, J.D. Iriarte returned our calls to say that yes, Michael Wray is no longer the chef of Tatou. "He's a fine dining, award-winning chef. Serving lunch was beneath him," Iriarte says. "It was almost an insult to have him involved with the lunches." We think he means that Tatou never quite got its "supper club" idea off the ground, but had a successful nightclub thing going. Another Tatou partner also owns Wokcano, so they incorporated a similar menu for a lunch crowd, mostly for nearby LAUSD and LA Center Studios. "No one was going to come down here for dinner, we're not a destination restaurant," he adds. "Until we get our rooftop restaurant and lounge, then they'll have a reason." So HK-winner Wray isn't the chef ("right now"), but we're told he's still a "partner in the operation."
· BREAKING: Windows Restaurant Closing in July [~ELA~]
· Closing Windows Produces a Slew of Bad Facts [Blogdowntown]
· Tatou: Where's Michael Wray? [~ELA~]