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The Church Key’s Steven Fretz Going Full-Fish in the Arts District

Arrival date TBD.

Chef Steven Fretz
Chef Steven Fretz
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 chef behind West Hollywood’s The Church Key is changing course, heading for the Arts District in Downtown. The plan, according to the LA Times, is to launch an approachable seafood spot called tentatively Fin and Fire.

Formerly an executive chef under Michael Mina at Saltwater, Steven Fretz is certainly no fish novice. He’ll be bringing his expertise to a 60-seater right across from Bestia (no exact address as of yet), thanks in part to a Russian-backed restaurant group called the Ginza Project.

Telling the Times that Downtown is ready for the sort of restaurant he’s envisioning, Fretz lays out a menu that would include crudités, tartars, and larger fish entrees cooked in a wood-fired oven. There are also plans to draw in diners directly by having them interact with the kitchen when they first arrive, walking through the space and being greeted by the cooks.

One interesting note: Fretz says the restaurant will eschew the now-ubiquitous reclaimed wood and brick look for something more sleek, black, and modern, with copper touches for a bit of pop. There will also be rooftop seating for 40 people, and a small bar area beneath the main dining room.

No word on an opening just yet, but it’s safe to say that Fin and Fire is a ways out.