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A Wood-Fired Patio Hotspot Is Under Construction in West Hollywood

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Wes Whitsell of Manuela returns to LA with big plans

A chef in a dark t-shirt stands atop a pile of dirt in a dark under construction restaurant space.
Wes Whitsell
631 Group

Chef Wes Whitsell is back in Los Angeles, having left for Texas following an opening stint at Manuela in the Arts District. He has teamed up with the ownership group behind Pacifique on La Cienega, and together they’re plotting a big new patio experience right in the heart of West Hollywood.

Whitsell’s Robertson build-out is currently deep in construction, but will soon have a big outdoor space right up front, complete with its own outdoor bar. That space then flows into an interior dining room and second lounge and bar area, with room for close to 200 diners all told. The kitchen won’t be open to the view, but will contain a wood-fired hearth for lots of grilling.

Beyond the meats, look for vegan options, plenty of produce, and a few handmade pastas to boot. The plan is to open the restaurant for breakfast and lunch in addition to dinner, so salads, grains, and eggs will dominate during the day. Whitsell tells Eater that he’ll also be doing very thin pizzas in a handmade domed wood-fired oven as well.

While the upcoming early 2020 restaurant does not yet have a formal name, the restaurant group does. Whitsell’s new restaurant team is titled 631 Group, with backing from solar energy entrepreneur Tom Butgenbach and operations partner Joel Herzer, previously of Joe’s in Venice and loads of other Southern California projects. George Kelly and Sean Leffers are on to design the project, which should open in early next year.

Meanwhile, West Hollywood is churning with new and upcoming restaurants. Olivetta is set to take over the former Au Fudge soon, while the long-awaited Bottega Louie on Santa Monica Boulevard works out its final design details as well.

631 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA.

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