Remember when Republique, Walter and Margarita Manzke’s eye-catching La Brea restaurant in the former Campanile space, almost actually became an Arts District staple? It seems forever ago, but there were definite plans for the Manzke team to put down roots inside of a massive warehouse space just about right next to the L.A. Gun Club.
Instead, they moved to La Brea, and the 1923 warehouse fell into the hands of Matteo Ferdinandi of hyper-popular Italian spot The Factory Kitchen just up the street. That was more than a year ago, and since then ground has broken inside on what is now being called Officine BRERA, with Fernandi’s team — which includes chef Angelo Auriana and designer Christopher Mercier — working hard to bring the place up to speed in time for a fall debut.
The concept for Officine BRERA is one of rustic meats grilled over open wood flame in true cucina povera style, as seen in the small towns of the northern Italian plains in regions like Piedmont, Lombardy, and Veneto.
There are plans for lots of meat to be thrown on wide, flat iron grills, but there will also be a wood-fired Italian dome oven (the sort of thing you might see in a pizzeria, but without the pizza) and a rotisserie. Less a steakhouse, Officine BRERA plans to offer fully composed plates — many in larger formats that are meant to be shared — instead of the meat-and-sides concept more popular at American steak joints.
Inside, the restaurant has been segmented into several usable sections, from an L-shaped bar doing small bites all day long to more classic two- and four-tops, with banquettes, anchoring the tall dining room area. At the other end of the space there are two private banquet rooms seating two dozen diners apiece, with a small attached patio to boot.
An open kitchen showcases all those grill options, and office/personnel areas are tucked away upstairs near an expediting station. There are further plans for a brick-laid patio outside, complete with the necessary string lights, and lots of parking — extending from the patio of the restaurant all the way out to Mateo.
The full menu and build-out are still in progress, but Officine BRERA hopes for an early fall debut.
1333 E. 6th Street
Arts District, Los Angeles, CA