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Two of Canada’s Biggest Culinary Names Take the Former Madeo Space on Beverly

Felix owner Janet Zuccarini is teaming up with a star Toronto chef for an Italian option named Stella, coming later this year

A woman with dark hair sits in a blue and white dress behind a desk.
Gusto 54 Group’s Janet Zuccarini.
Gusto 54
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

It’s been a time of uncertainty for the former Madeo space at 8899 Beverly Boulevard. The longtime Beverly Hills-adjacent address had been under construction for the past few years, with plans for Madeo (the legendary upscale Italian restaurant with a rabid celebrity following, including names like Sylvester Stallone and Drake) to return from a temporary relocation after the building was remodeled. But when the Vietina family behind Madeo announced last summer that they would not be returning to their original home on Beverly, it threw everything up in the air.

Now comes word that there is new life at 8899 Beverly in the city of West Hollywood, with a renewed Italian focus at that. None other than Janet Zuccarini, the star Canadian restaurateur who has made a big splash in Los Angeles with Venice hit Felix and Downtown’s newer Gusto Green, will be occupying the building this year. Zuccarini is said to be opening a contemporary Italian restaurant under the name Stella, with a focus on regional coastal Italian flavors.

Alongside Zuccarini will be busy Canadian chef Rob Gentile, who is considered one of Toronto’s top names and is behind a group of Buca restaurants across the region. Wendy Haworth, who designed Felix, will oversee the buildout, having done a number of projects for Zuccarini’s Gusto 54 Restaurant Group. All told, the two-story build-out will canvass more than 200 seats, with room for an outdoor terrace as well.

Don’t expect Gentile to start cooking anytime soon, though; Stella won’t arrive until the end of 2022. Meanwhile, the Vietina family behind the 36-year-old Madeo have been mum on what’s to come for their vaunted brand name. The group was popping up internationally for a time, but so far there’s nothing confirmed about a return to Los Angeles just yet. Gianni and Nicola Vietina do operate Bianca, the bakery and restaurant in Culver City at the Platform development.