After many months of waiting, Bridgetown Roti has landed its first brick-and-mortar location in Los Angeles. The longtime pop-up — with its focus on the foods of Barbados, particularly roti and patties — is moving to the corner of Vermont and Normal, taking up residence inside the redone former home of retro restaurant Cafe ‘50s at 850 N. Vermont Avenue.
Chef and owner Rashida Holmes had been on the hunt for a permanent location for years, after starting as a pandemic pop-up out of her house. Holmes, whose family hails from Barbados and carries with them a deep West Indian culinary legacy, spent years cooking for others in kitchens across the city, but found her voice (and plenty of accolades) by reaching back to her roots selling patties, rotis, and a whole slew of West Indian flavors. The home cooking soon morphed into a roving pop-up show spread across Los Angeles at spots like Crafted Kitchen in the Arts District and weekly food bazaar Smorgasburg, earning Holmes praise in the New York Times, a nod as Eater LA’s Best New Restaurant of 2021, and more recently a semifinalist nomination for the James Beard Foundation’s emerging chef 2023 category.
The new Bridgetown Roti space should allow for Holmes and the crew to expand their menu over time, adding dishes that were too cumbersome for the pop-up life or that simply did not travel well. Given the new location across from Los Angeles City College, Holmes and co-owner Malique Smith say that they expect a lot of fast pickups and to-go orders. As a result, the restaurant will operate on a counter-service model, with roughly 25 seats when all is said and done. They’re still far from an opening date but hope to be live before the end of the year.
Don’t want to wait for the new restaurant to come online? Check out Bridgetown Roti at one of its upcoming pop-ups, including Saturday, March 18 at Benny Boy Brewing, or at Ester’s Wine Bar in Santa Monica on March 22.
Note: Eater LA reporter Mona Holmes is related to Rashida Holmes, but was not involved in the reporting or writing of this story.