Tartine has completely closed its public-facing restaurants and marketplace at the Manufactory inside the Row development in Downtown, less than one year into its run. The final closures — Alameda Supper Club, the marketplace with its hot bar, and the takeaway window outside — came just this morning, with staff being notified less than two weeks before Christmas.
Tartine is one of the most highly regarded bakeries and cafes in San Francisco, expanding to Seoul, South Korea in recent years before announcing an expansion to Los Angeles in 2016. Co-founders Elisabeth Pruiett and Chad Robertson thought a big footprint at the industrial-like Row development in Downtown LA, formerly American Apparel’s sizable manufacturing facilities, would be the ideal base for wholesale operations and numerous cafe locations across Los Angeles. They replicated their successful Manufactory, a multi-faceted daytime cafe and evening restaurant with a baking operation, here in Los Angeles.
Head down to the Row today, and the only thing still operational at Tartine’s 40,000 square foot, multi-million-dollar property is the wholesale bakery area, which will continue to support Tartine’s cafes across Los Angeles. The Hollywood cafe is open and busy now, with Silver Lake and Santa Monica both slated to open in early 2020. Tartine also has a wholesale contract with Whole Foods market to supply breads for dozens of Southern California locations.
Staff on site confirmed the closures to Eater today. Reached for comment, reps for Tartine sent the following statement:
After attempting several changes over the past several months, Tartine announced that The Manufactory LA would be closing The Market and Alameda Supper Club, effective immediately. The wholesale baking operations will continue to operate out of the facility at ROW DTLA, and Tartine Sycamore in Hollywood remains open.
“We are extremely grateful to the Los Angeles community for their patronage and support this past year, and especially to our many team members whose help and hard work contributed to making The Manufactory what it was,” said Tartine founder Chad Robertson.
The shocking closure comes less than one year after Tartine first opened its multiple restaurant and retail spaces at the Manufactory in Downtown Los Angeles. The construction reportedly cost tens of millions of dollars, and was billed as a big collaboration with Tartine’s Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt working alongside Phoenix chef Chris Bianco to bring the place to life.
Now Bianco remains behind, with plans to open his Pizzeria Bianco in the former Tartine Bianco space — complete with a wood-fired oven. The Alameda Supper Club side will reopen as an Italian trattoria sometime next year.
The demise of Manufactory at the Row comes after a year of sluggish sales, which saw Tartine close full service restaurant Tartine Bianco, which ceased dinner back in September. Despite a healthy number of weekend tourists and the Sunday Smorgasburg crowd, the Row development has struggled to attract a weekday dining crowd, even with other restaurants like Rappahannock Oyster Bar, Pikuniko from former Top Chef contestant Kuniko Yagi, celebrated omakase counter Hayato, and M. Georgina from San Francisco chef Melissa Perillo all opening within the past year or so.
Despite heavy investment and a sterling brand name, Tartine wasn’t able to make its massive Downtown LA location successful as a retail front. It’s a stern warning against ambitious restaurateurs and operators who thought the wide open industrial spaces, large parking lot, and heavy Smorgasburg weekend traffic would eventually lead to steady daily sales. Instead, the Row’s relatively slow office development in its expansive property meant the promise of hundreds, or even thousands, of well-heeled office workers and creative types weren’t around to bolster revenue. And the area’s bustling dining zones from Arts District to Downtown’s Financial District gave Row restaurants a healthy dose of competition.
Manufactory at the Row. 777 S. Alameda, Los Angeles.
Additional reporting from Matthew Kang.