Westwood’s pair of French-Canadian restaurants are closing May 30 and will be transferred to a new owner come June. Soleil founder and chef Luc Alarie revealed the pending shutter in a May 8 Facebook status update, and announced his retirement in an April email to customers. Eater reached out to Soleil to learn about the new owners but has yet to hear back.
Soleil Westwood opened on Westwood Boulevard in 2002, and launched the adjacent P’tit Soleil in 2012. The smaller Soleil is all about Quebecois cocktails, tapas, Canadian beers, and an elevated experience with Canada’s national dish, poutine.
Alarie will host a final three-course dinner on May 30, for anyone who will miss the bistro. Though Alarie is retiring, the chef doesn’t rule out the possibility of hosting wine tastings in the future. Alarie wrote the following statement to customers via email:
Bonjour mes amis, As some of you have likely seen, ownership in Soleil Westwood and P’tit Soleil will soon change. As in life, all good things must come to a close. In this case, not an end. More of a new beginning. After eighteen years, I am going to take a break. While I tell myself I am retiring, I plan on staying very busy. I will simply be doing different things.
As I look back on my time running, first Soleil Westwood and then adding P’tit Soleil, I mostly remember all the wonderful people I have met. My life would not be the same without any of them. Many became friends that I still have today, and even some who have moved far and wide keep in touch via Facebook and email.
For some people, Soleil has been a first date, which led to a wedding, again at Soleil. First-babies were toasted, first grandchildren, even. There have been so many wedding proposals we even had a name for that little section of Soleil!
Thanks to my wonderful customers - actually, not customers but more like friends - Soleil has been on TV, Radio, in Newspapers, and Magazines - internationally even! - and all over social media of course, because of you, my friends. It has been a great pleasure for me to have been able to meet, greet, and serve you my favorite foods.
But the time has come. I know I will miss all of you, so I am sure I will pop up once in a while at the new place. Maybe I will host a Wine Tasting Dinner. Or maybe I will simply join you all as a customer. I only worry I won’t be able to stay seated when I see someone waiting at the door or I hear the kitchen bell ring for an ‘order-up’ call.
I don’t know what the future brings, but I just want to be sure that you all know how much I thank you for making my Soleil years so amazing - the time went by so fast. You are all truly wonderful and I will never forget any of you or the memories you have left me with. à bientôt Luc.
Soleil Westwood. 1386 Westwood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA