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Checking In: South on Sunset Still Coming in '09

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We haven't heard much about South on Sunset, the new Aussie-friendly restaurant planned for the doomed Hadaka space in West Hollywood, since word first dropped this summer. On a recent drive-by, the Hadaka building still looks intact, sign still hanging, no permits or licenses on the building. So what gives? According to Eater SF, who checked in with Anna Weinberg and Liz O’Connell, partners of South Food + Wine Bar up north, it's still so on. South is the first U.S. restaurant concept for international celebrity chef Luke Mangan whose known for "ModOz" cuisine; the LA location is expected to open next year.

And then you announced the LA expansion.
Well, we’ve talked about it since the very beginning. Luke’s got a lot of clients in LA, a lot of high profile Australians in the film industry and he’s always done a lot of work there. We really kicked around the idea of doing Los Angeles first because there’s a much more natural analogue between Sydney and Los Angeles in terms of the weather, the lifestyle. But again, we thought from a credibility standpoint—and also because we live here—San Francisco was the right route, but we always wanted to do a larger, flashier project in LA. We wouldn’t have necessarily done it so quickly except it was fantastic opportunity when the space came up.

What’s the latest from LA? Any lessons you’ll take from opening SF?
The chef is someone named Kathy Tindall and she’s been Luke’s executive chef at Glass since they opened so we’ve already got her visa approved which is a big relief because she is a fabulous chef. Oh yeah, and I know more about visas than I ever thought I could. And HVAC! I never thought I’d know about that stuff. It’s not very glamorous.

Where do you want to be at this time next year?
Well, probably sitting right here where I am now in my restaurant. I’d like to have Los Angeles open. I’ll put out there that I’d love to find an amazing operations director in L.A. I’m really excited about our online store and our food + wine clubs so I think I will be pretty focused on growing those this year. So it’s really just keep moving forward and hope the economy sees some recovery in 09.
· Hadaka Done, South on Sunset Taking Over [~ELA~]
· One Year In: South [~ESF~]

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