After months of speculation, Downtown's elegant dining hall Bottega Louie is opening a second location in the heart of West Hollywood in the former Cooley's space. In fact, Bottega Louie is partnering with WeHo legend David Cooley himself on the operation. The massive 8,900 square foot space will sport about 200 seats, including an outdoor dining patio. The opening is expected to take place some time in 2017 after an extensive build out.
Bottega Louie first opened in late 2007 in Financial District, and it's been part of Downtown's overall resurgence in the Los Angeles dining scene. With sweet marble floors, gorgeous sightlines, vibrant ambiance, and hard-to-resist front pastry counter, Bottega Louie was the populist restaurant that Downtown LA needed. It's been packed ever since, and the placement in West Hollywood seems like a solid one. The Italian-esque menu boasts wood-fired pizzas and elevated American comfort fare while the bakery up front seems lifted straight out of Paris.
Cooley remarked on the partnership: "I have been approached many times about partnering on this space but none of them felt right...a culinary destination like Bottega Louie is the perfect addition to Santa Monica Blvd." Local publication Wehoville highlighted a few opposing opinions when rumors started percolating that Bottega Louie was opening in the Boystown area of West Hollywood. The website quoted Larry Block, who owns the Block Party: "This business appears to be a ‘Connie and Teds' version of dining in the heart of Boystown...soon the heart of Boystown that is gay-owned and operated will shrink a little bit more."
Jake Mason, another local, also told Wehoville, "I don't understand how a restaurant is inherently a ‘straight' one, but for some reason this one is and everyone is more upset about it being there than having a giant black, boarded-up building for years in its place," referring to the Cooley's undeveloped storefront. Despite the controversy (and you can read all about it in the Wehoville article), Bottega Louie is coming to West Hollywood in the near future. How exactly that affects the area's overall culture and dining scene remains to be seen.