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The Group Behind Felix Plots a “Clean Eating” Downtown LA Restaurant

And Gary Vaynerchuk looks to be involved in the overall development

Pasta from Felix
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.

The Canadian restaurant group behind pasta haven Felix in Venice is growing its local footprint, landing a ground-floor restaurant called Gusto Green right along busy Hill Street in Downtown’s Jewelry District. The entire block between 7th Street and 8th Street is being overhauled with new office space, with Gary Vaynerchuk of all people overseeing a new members-only club, so Gusto Green should have plenty of foot traffic once it arrives.

Gusto 54 is the group that helped to bring Evan Funke’s passion project Felix to life last year. It’s one of the more successful restaurant groups in Canada, Janet Zuccarini, a restaurateur who also serves as a judge on Top Chef Canada, oversees its operation. Felix was the team’s first Stateside project, though now it seems they’re putting down roots.

Asked for comment about what exactly Gusto Green will be, Toronto-based group president Juanita Dickson says that the restaurant will mostly “focus on healthy, clean eating,” with a focus on produce from the farmers market, of course. The physical space itself will feature “an open concept kitchen, wood fired pizza oven and large scale Tuscan grill.” Details are scarce beyond that as construction is still underway in the space, though the Gusto 54 team did mark an opening for sometime next year.

Even more interesting is the assemblage of people and developments happening around Gusto 54 on Hill Street, just a block north of Shibumi and around the corner from the Freehand Hotel. Not only are developers dropping in 50,000 square feet of office space, but prodigious public speaker and businessman Gary Vaynerchuk is also creating a cannabis industry-focused members only club upstairs. The entire property will ultimately have a rooftop events area, underground bar, and various floors of office and lounge space.

Despite the “Green” name, Gusto has not yet said how they’ll be infused into the cannabis playground upstairs, if at all. It also seems as though Funke is not involved with this project, though he himself has said that he would like to open several more projects, both locally and perhaps in New York City.

Gusto Green. 718 S. Hill St., Los Angeles, CA.