Have you driven past the former Cat & Fiddle in Hollywood any time recently? If so you may have noticed that, well, there's not much going down inside, despite The Spotted Pig's April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman's supposed involvement with a new project at the property.
So what's become of The Cat & Fiddle? It's an interesting question, and one with a curious paper trail. But at the very least, there's still hope for a prosperous future.
In December of 2014 The Cat & Fiddle officially closed its doors for good, the result of a seriously contentious back-and-forth between longtime bar owners and the consortium of folks who actually owned the property. There were accusations of unfair business dealings and unnecessary price hikes, while others claimed the bar had become run down and unsuitable for the next generation of drinker, all under a rental agreement that was no longer competitive with the market.
Amid all that, rumors swirled that April Bloomfield and longtime business partner Ken Friedman had designs on the space, but were hesitant to come forward because of all the bad blood. Eventually their New York City-based company Biergarten LLC was seen to have taken control of Cat & Fiddle's all-important ABC license, and the rest at least should have been history.
But since then, nothing. At first it seemed like giving the old place some time to heal from its sad shutter was the right move to make, but as last spring moved into last summer and then on through fall and winter, it became increasingly clear that not much was going to happen any time soon.
And now that previous ABC license, the one that first allowed a link to be made between The Cat & Fiddle in Hollywood and Bloomfield / Friedman? The one that had West Coasters salivating at the possibility of a Spotted Pig restaurant in Los Angeles? That ABC license was given up completely, withdrawn quietly on January 20.
That's not to say the place is forever doomed. Sources say it's more likely a matter of California law and escrow issues than Bloomfield and Friedman pulling out, but it does set back any timetable for opening, as refiling for a license takes time (and money). Eater reached out to reps for Bloomfield and Friedman, but so far hasn't heard back.
Though overall the plans have significantly slowed down, insiders are keen to say that a restaurant is definitely still happening on site there, and that there will be something on site by the end of the year. Maybe that will end up being a Spotted Pig after all.