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The Yin and Yang of Downtown: New 7-Eleven, More Gourmet Markets, Italian Restos

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Bottega Louie construction, via Angelenic

Today, Downtown's first 7-Eleven opens its doors celebrates its success (opened in December) on the ground floor of the Mandel Lofts at 7th and Olive. The press release calls it a "historic moment," one filled with free Big Gulps, Slurpees (including the new Slurpuccino), and Big Bite hot dogs (from 11am-3pm if you're interested). A block away, Bottega Louie will open in the Brockman Building at 7th and Grand sometime this summer. As seen above, it is a mammoth space that will be both retail and restaurant with marble floors, French moldings, an antique Regency-style bar. Angelenic, in true hyperbolic fashion, says a "cherry-picked culinary dream team" will head up the 220-seat Italian restaurant, and the market will feature artisanal cheeses, honeys, wines, prepared foods, and pastries from Tamara Draper, a former Boule chef. (They're not quite as boastful as Bottega Louie owner Keat Bollenbach: “We’ll do it better than anywhere else.")

Earlier this week we dished on Tony Riviera's Primo Cucina market, restaurant and "gelato lab" going into the Barker Block. Both market/restos have claimed to be Dean & Deluca-esque. Ralph's opened last year, and rumors of a Whole Foods still linger. Big Gulps and charcuterie. Is this the best of both worlds or an identity crisis? We're rooting for the former, but someone had to ask.
· First Look: Bottega Louie [Angelenic]
· Primo Cucina: Gourmet Market, Italian Resto Downtown [~ELA~]