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Beau Laughlin Takes Control of Some Seriously Prime Real Estate in Los Feliz

The Sawyer/Kettle Black owner is partnering with Doug Rankin

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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.

Good news for folks who love Los Feliz, the walkable little enclave east of Hollywood: Beau Laughlin is coming, and he’s bringing reinforcements. Laughlin has historically been behind some of LA’s most well-known spots and of late has been keeping a close eye on Silver Lake with Sawyer and Kettle Black, but now he’s getting into a charming space right along Vermont Avenue.

The unnamed new project from Laughlin will land sometime later this year, right next to the iconic Skylight Books at 1816 N. Vermont Ave. There’s a ton of work to be done on the place to turn it into a workable restaurant space, but if all goes as expected, he projects a fall arrival for the address.

What is known is the chef that Laughlin has partnered up with: Doug Rankin. A former Zagat 30 Under 30 winner, Rankin helped open Trois Mec as chef de cuisine, and was more recently the culinary director of both Trois Mec and Petit Trois. He’s mum on the style of food he’ll be serving as partner in this new project, but expect something produce-driven and casual. This makes Rankin the second Ludo Lefebvre vet that Laughlin has worked with, after the come-back restaurateur brought on Sydney Hunter III to run the kitchen at Kettle Black.

The expansion of Laughlin’s empire (and Rankin’s cooking) to Los Feliz comes at a perfect time, as the southern tip of that area has been recently buoyed by the arrival of places like Kismet and G&B. Now something new and hip is heading for the main Vermont drag, which should only add to the walkable charm of the neighborhood.