Formosa Cafe, which closed unceremoniously in late 2016 after an rather disastrous ownership shuffle, is reopening under the supervision of new owners 1933 Group, which has successfully restored and rehabilitated some of LA’s most iconic establishments. There’s no official reopening date set at the moment.
The 1925 building and bar has hosted a slew of iconic Hollywood stars, including John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, and even Elvis Presley. The restoration construction is set to commence within a few weeks, but 1933 Group will coordinate with the original owners to bring back its former glory and even return the Chinese influence on the menu (hence the Formosa moniker).
1933 Group consists of owners Dimitri Komarov, Bobby Green, and Dmitry Liberman, who did magnificent work at The Idle Hour and Highland Park Bowl, two of the most stunning historic restorations in LA. Komarov said in the Formosa Cafe acquisition: “In a time when beloved establishments are closing throughout Los Angeles, our company mission has evolved to prioritizing the preservation of the city’s architecture and history.”
Although 1933 hasn’t always produced the most compelling work on the food and beverage side (the food is mostly forgettable at The Idle Hour), they’ve fielded better than average cocktail programs at places like Harlowe, Highland Park Bowl, and Sassafras.
The goal with Formosa is to bring the storied space back to its former self, which felt like it was scrubbed away a bit with its history with a tacky interior. If anyone’s going to do their best to add a truly historic feather in LA’s cap, it’s going to 1933 Group, based on their previous work. Fans of the city’s history ought to rejoice that a nearly 100-year-old establishment will see some new life under some competent stewards.
7156 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA