Things are shaping up over at Wes Whitsell’s long-awaited West Hollywood patio restaurant. The project, which has not previously publicly announced a name or an opening date, is said to be in the early stages of a late-fall opening, per What Now LA. Some staff have already been hired, and others are lining up to drop off resumes this week.
The new restaurant at 631 N. Robertson is called Soulmate, and will carry Whitsell’s Texas heritage through to the menu. Reached for confirmation, reps for Soulmate tell Eater that the restaurant has a heavily-seasonal menu of comforting favorites, pulling from Whitsell’s time growing up in rural Texas to his years spent working with live fire and lots of vegetables as a chef in California. The chef was most recently cooking at Pacifique in West Hollywood and was the opening chef of Manuela in the Arts District.
As for the space, the restaurant was being built last fall as a patio-friendly evening hangout, and that hasn’t changed much with the onset of the pandemic. Of course there will be distancing and COVID-19 protocols in place and all the rest, but the Robertson address was mostly built as an outdoor dining oasis anyway. Further down the line, expect indoor seating, live entertainment, and more.
The upcoming Soulmate has been a long time coming for Whitsell and the 631 restaurant group. So far new hires include general manager Nick Shultz, formerly of Lukshon, who will also oversee the wine; Naomi Schimek (the Spare Room) on cocktails; and Adam Marca handling pastry. The large staff is unusual in this current climate, but Whitsell and company are eager to bring the same kind of busy, popular restaurant to life as in the before times. Expect an opening sometime in December.