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Brendan Collins Peeling Back Birch in Hollywood by Month's End

The Waterloo & City chef has taken residence inside the former Fukuburger space.

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

The world has known for a while now that Waterloo & City was destined to become a thing of the past. Chef Brendan Collins’ spoke lovingly of his former Culver City Brit pub (which ceases to exist on Friday) when word first dropped back in November, but now The LA Times is reporting that Collins won’t have to be heartbroken for long.

Birch stands as the upcoming home for Collins and his cooking, heaving its way into the former Fukuburger space in Hollywood. It’s a seriously muted departure compared to the Vegas-y glitz and light show that the previous tenant gave off; Birch is full of grey tones, glass, and blond wood.

As for seats, the soon-to-open Birch retains much of the same square footage as Fukuburger, but with a more streamlined feel. There are 28 main dining room seats, two long communal tables to seat 16 comfortably, six balcony bar stools up front and 15more stools around the marble bar itself. Oh, and don't forget the underutilized brick patio out back, with room for another 16 guests.

The plan, according to Collins, is to "move beyond the gastropub" with Birch, offering shareable plates and tasting menus side by side. At only a handful of dishes per night, that could mean yakitori skewers from the grill or repurposed dishes from Collins’ home country of England. He won’t be losing the beer that Waterloo & City was partially known for, either: bottles and taps will still make up a sizable portion of the drinks list.

And what of the long-shuttered Fukuburger in Hollywood? Rumor has it, there are still plans for Harry Morton to, improbably, fold the Japanese burger palace into the third floor of the Pink Taco on Sunset.

If all goes well, expect a Birch debut by the end of February, with opening dinner hours from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, and extended hours to midnight on Friday and Saturday night. Happy hour kicks off at 5:30 p.m., and soon enough lunch and an all-day Sunday brunch will commence as well.