There was a collective sadness in West Hollywood when the French Market Place and beloved restaurant French Quarter closed in 2015. That sentiment quickly turned to outrage in 2017, when real estate firm Faring suggested it be torn down completely. But the long shuttered building is getting a second chance, as Faring revealed plans to repurpose the French Market building into two restaurants, a subterranean bar, office space, and retail.
According to Wehoville, locals took a liking to the proposed structure at the West Hollywood Planning Commission last week. Faring is still conducting the redevelopment, and intends to preserve the building while maintaining its significance for the LGBTQ community. Faring will add office space to address a shortage in the area, along with two restaurants.
A 2,746 square-foot subterranean bar will also become part of the new space. This underground design is similar to Faring’s plans at Robertson Lane, which will insulate the adjacent Laurel Avenue residents from any loud nightlife sounds. Faring owner Jason lloulian assured the Commission that one restaurant would offer reasonably-priced meals to better cater to the community.
Wehoville also documented the French Market Place and the French Quarter as a center of community activism over the years. The restaurant eagerly served as a supportive base in the early days of the AIDS crisis. The restaurant also held fundraisers for gay-friendly political candidates, and was the location for a key 1991 meeting between gay activists and then Presidential candidate, now California governor, Jerry Brown. Faring also wants to honor the building’s significance to the LGBTQ community with a mural for LGBTQ activists.
Open in 1974, the French Quarter restaurant sat inside the French Market Place, and was surrounded by retail shops. Rumors about renovation have been taking place since early 2015, and last week’s reveal at the Commission is the new French Market’s first hurdle.