It’s been three weeks since Lowell Cafe opened the country’s first licensed cannabis consumption lounge and restaurant in West Hollywood. This is just the beginning, as West Hollywood’s 15 incoming consumption lounges will eventually open to allow on-site smoking, vaping, or eating edibles. The next entrant is Aeon Botanika, a health and wellness facility with a cannabis consumption area and cafe. Aeon’s culinary director is Fred Eric, the founder and chef of Los Feliz’s longstanding restaurant, Fred 62.
Aeon Botanika should open by spring 2020 and was one of just five applicants that won a West Hollywood license allowing both retail and on-site consumption. The former mattress store and kickboxing studio on Santa Monica Boulevard will transform into Aeon Botanika’s 7,000 square foot space.
The cafe section will offer a plant-based menu along with a Moroccan-style tea lounge and gathering space, where customers can eat cannabis-infused food and drinks. California law currently prohibits restaurants from infusing any of its own food with cannabis, which means the consumption lounge will only sell edibles produced at another facility. Smoking and vaping of cannabis will be allowed as well.
Fred Eric will develop breakfast through dinner menus for Aeon Botanika devoid of any cannabis, with the intention of having the food pair with the cannabis-infused edibles and drink that Aeon Botanika will legally be allowed to sell.
Eric opened Fred 62 in Los Feliz in 1999. His diner menu still offers peanut butter malt shakes, udon noodles, and pancakes in a retro space. In recent years, Eric has shifted his focus towards healthy and plant-based foods, and his partnership with Aeon Botanika reflects the change.
Co-founders Nicole Fox and Veena Parekh hope to break ground in December 2019. The Little Door & Cliff’s Edge designer Keith Greco will arrange the interiors. In the meantime, the partners are still waiting for state license approval for the wellness center and cafe.
Aeon Botanika. 8448 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA