Major breaking news for the L.A. restaurant scene: Bill Chait, the founder of Sprout Restaurant Group — which is responsible for some of the most popular restaurants in Los Angeles, such as Bestia, Redbird, and Republique — is officially moving on from the company.
Per multiple sources, Chait's involvement with the group has come to an end, though it's reportedly an amicable departure. Chait will maintain his stake in Sprout and its various restaurant partnerships, though he's personally pursuing different projects around LA.
Chait was not only the managing partner of the group, he was the vocal face of the company, standing in as a figurehead of sorts for many years as the group expanded from a few well-known spots to perhaps L.A.'s biggest, or at least most significant, restaurant empire. In that time, he's expounded on healthcare and minimum wage laws in Los Angeles, and grown the brand to arguably become a national player.
As for what this means for the many restaurants — Bestia, Republique, Sotto, Petty Cash, Catch & Release, Otium, and The Rose in Venice among them — and chefs still under the Sprout umbrella, Eater is told that day to day management remains unchanged. That means the chefs and restaurateurs running those respective restaurants will continue business as usual.
As for newer projects such as Moruno in Grand Central Market and the Original Farmer's Market, those are still slated for the first quarter of 2016.
Bill Chait told Eater that while he was instrumental in setting up the financial and operation for each of Sprout's restaurants, the company is set up to continue in operation without his day-to-day management. He's currently pursuing other large-scale restaurant projects, including one "as significant as" Otium, which was a major opening just last month right next to the Broad Museum in Downtown's Bunker Hill.
Meanwhile, here's Sprout's official statement:
Sprout is an innovative restaurant collaborative focused on partnering with talented chefs to provide unique dining experiences. Bill Chait, founder of Sprout Restaurant Collaboration has decided to step down as Managing Partner in order to pursue his own independent projects. All restaurants partnered with Sprout will continue to operate as they have, and Sprout will continue to support the restaurants in the same manner as it has.
Sprout works to highlight the passion, dedication and creative direction of its chef partners by bringing together communities, culture, and elevated experiences.