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Downtown LA’s Expense Account Favorite Cafe Pinot Closes After 25 Years

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Café Pinot’s last day of service is Friday

Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

It’s been quite the week for longstanding Downtown restaurants. On Monday, owners Yassmin Sarmadi and Tony Esnault sold their influential ten-year restaurant, Church & State. And just yesterday, Café Pinot announced its final day of service this Friday, April 26.

The 25-year-old restaurant is one of Downtown’s early settlers, when staying late for dinner or theater wasn’t a popular consideration. And while wealth of dining choices exists today, that wasn’t always the case. A small group of restaurants opened in Downtown’s core during the late 1980s and 1990s, including Café Pinot, Water Grill, plus Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger’s shuttered restaurant, Ciudad.

Chefs Joachim Splichal and Octavio Becerra opened Café Pinot in 1995 in a cozy glass-enclosed space adjacent to Downtown’s iconic Central Library. According to the Los Angeles Times, there are no future plans for the space.

Café Pinot. 700 W. 5th Street, Downtown LA, CA