In surprising news this morning, Eater has learned that chef Michael Voltaggio is planning to close his flagship Los Angeles restaurant Ink., and relocate staff from its current address on Melrose to a new restaurant on La Cienega. The jump will land the modernist restaurant-turned-steakhouse team inside the old Hutchinson space, with an opening under the name Ink.Well to come as early as next week.
The push into a new restaurant address means that Voltaggio and team will have a ton more space to work with. The Hutchinson location (formerly a steakhouse of sorts, albeit with an Indonesian flair) is massive, with several connected patio and dining areas, as well as a parking lot and long bar. It’s also got the ability to keep late night dining and drinking hours, which is always a plus.
On the flip side, there’s a lot less walkability to the La Cienega space. Mostly that corridor is for speeding cars and valet stands, and there are plenty of other more traditional steakhouse options up and down La Cienega to compete with, too. Voltaggio tells the LA Times that he outgrew the Ink. location in terms of scope and scale, and is looking forward to a more casual menu that will include grains, proteins, and a burger as well. The restaurant will do dinner only to start, with an expansion into lunch and beyond later down the line.
It’s a new look for the traditionally more upscale, modernist chef. Still, Voltaggio obviously carries with him a big name — and he’s got more room to grow than ever before. The final night of service for Ink. on Melrose is Sunday, and after that the beautiful restaurant is being put up for sale by Alfred Realty.
826 N. La Cienega
Los Angeles, CA