Over the decades, Hollywood has made several attempts at a revival. Front and center is the massive Hollywood & Highland mall (opened in 2001), which doesn’t exactly turn the area into a discreet hood; The mall is currently in the $100 million stage of completion and will be relaunched as Ovation Hollywood. The neighborhood is also facing a tough time during the pandemic, with tourism largely disappearing in 2020.
Now, however, an area slightly east of Ovation — not far from where Netflix and Viacom opened their LA headquarters in 2017 — is flourishing, in large part due to investments by a Developer, Relevant Group.
Centrally located a few blocks around the recently unsavory intersection of Selma and Wilcox avenues, it is branded with its own name, the Vinyl District (a moniker promoted by Relevant). Named to honor Hollywood’s legacy as a home to music labels, recording studios and record stores, this small neighborhood is brimming with high-end new developments, innovative hotels and boutiques. Interesting restaurant.
“Hollywood is currently going through a boom period with nearly 1,000 [hotel] Vaughn Davis, general manager of the Dream Hollywood Hotel in the region, adds rooms, 1.5 million square feet of commercial property, 15 new restaurants, a new rooftop lounge and lots of additions. significantly elevated the surrounding area”. ).
The revival of the area – adjacent to the beloved Hollywood Farmers Market that happens every Sunday – really began in 2015, with the opening of Mama Shelter, 70 fun, glamorous rooms in Los Angeles (from $178), a boutique hotel from France-based Accor Hotels. “Hollywood almost always attracts a lot of commercial – some shabby and some uplifting. I think Mama LA has introduced other hotels and restaurants that people in Hollywood would go to and support a business like ours,” said Mama Shelter general manager Andrew Jay.
However, the Group concerned bought the entire area and fueled its transition into the stratosphere. To date, the company has invested nearly $500 million in the Vinyl District, developing three hotels, three food courts, two rooftop bars and an event space.
Grant King, principal managing partner at Relevant Group, said: “We found an incredible opportunity to change the perception of the area, historically known as nightlife, to usher in the next iteration of dynamic and sophisticated hospitality”. “We wanted to offer an incredibly versatile suite of world-class restaurants, bars and unrivaled hospitality experiences, bringing together diverse demographics and backgrounds in one complex.”
The earliest of the Related is Dream Hollywood, an airy hotel with a trendy, high-end Apple Store vibe, which opened in 2017. One of the attractions of Dream Hollywood is The Highlight Room, a classy rooftop bar and restaurant.
In August, Relevant announced the Thompson Hollywood (from $399), a sleek, modern, luxury boutique hotel by architect Steinberg Hart and designed by London-based Tara Bernerd. In the coming weeks, celebrity chef Lincoln Carson — known for his brief Bon Temps in DTLA — plans to open Mes Amis, a French brasserie with a SoCal feel, in Thompson.
A more affordable option is Relevant’s Tommie Hollywood (from $279), a cheerful hotel designed by architecture firm Studio Collective that opens in December. Tommie’s flagship restaurant, Ka’ teen, run by LA chef Wes Avila, formerly of Guerrilla Tacos, and designed in the Mexican Riviera Maya style. Another new property is the sleek Godfrey Hotel Hollywood (from $209), developed by Oxford Capital Group and opening in 2021 just south of Sunset on Cahuenga Avenue.
Perhaps the most eye-catching of the Relevant Group’s projects is Citizen News, a beautifully recreated striking 1930s art deco (once the home of Mr. Hollywood Citizen-News newspaper) has now been transformed by Rockefeller Kempel Architects into a stunning event space. The beauty of the building convinced famed chef Evan Funke, of Venice’s Felix Trattoria, to locate Mother Wolf – his new “congratulations to Rome” – on the premises.
“What I love about Italian cuisine is illustrated by the environment. Imagine sitting on the island of Capri, eating insalata caprese with the one you love, the sea breeze in your face, sipping a crisp falanghina,” says Funke. “That’s really hard to replicate anywhere else. So when I first saw the rendering of the space that Wolf Mother sat in, greatness provided an extraordinary opportunity to set the stage for something special and actionable. motion. So more than ever, guests are wanting to be brought into the dining room. “
Funke isn’t the only popular restaurateur to bet on the area. In October, executive chef Nigel Stephens opened Superba Food + Bread in the 1920s building once occupied by beloved Cat & Fiddle.
In December, Grandmaster Recorder debuted at a former music studio of the same name, where David Bowie and Stevie Wonder had previously recorded. It features New World Italian cuisine in a unique, historic setting; If you’ve ever wanted to dine in a control room or recording studio, this is your chance.
Grant Smillie, co-owner of Grandmaster Recorder, said: “There is no denying the shift in Hollywood’s culinary and cultural landscape, and it will be felt with its full weight in 2022 when the region neighborhoods are starting to return to normal.”
So confident are the future chefs of the region that 2019 James Beard Award winner Tony Messina, Sicilian chef Enrico Merendino and Japanese chef Yoshiyuki Okuno have agreed to open the Magari fusion restaurant this year. now at 6115 Sunset Blvd. in the quaint Paley space next to the Viacom office building. (A few blocks to the west, celebrity chef Nancy Silverton opened the Barish restaurant inside the Hollywood Roosevelt in 2021.)
Mama Shelter’s Jay said: “The vibe is like a party. “Mama LA arrived at the party when it started, and the others are now showing up fashionably late. But we energize each other, and the interaction between businesses is in itself energizing.”
While Netflix continues to expand in Hollywood, and nearby Cinereama Dome is scheduled to reopen this year, the neighborhood faces challenges, including homelessness, crime, and sub-par reputations. before. According to Jay, crime and antipathy have dropped in recent years thanks to the active involvement of the Hollywood Business Improvement District, which hosts security, beauty and promotional patrols. “This rapid pace of innovation will continue,” predicts King.
Nearly 100 years after its heyday – Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin all filmed in an alleyway there – this part of Hollywood is poised to once again transform the area into a cultural destination upscale for locals as well as tourists. With such a rich and diverse history, Hollywood is widely regarded as the most vibrant and transformative destination in the world. “It just needed the right catalyst to make the change happening today.”
Musso & Frank’s new dining room
Hollywood Boulevard’s historic Musso & Frank Grill has just been renovated. Known for serving legends like Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt for years, the 102-year-old eatery recently launched four new private dining spaces.
Designed by global architecture firm Gensler, the rooms are the first addition of new dining spaces to the restaurant since 1955.
“It was really important to us when we designed these rooms that we made sure to look at the past. [of Musso & Frank] and bring the past with us into the future,” said Mark Echeverria, COO and CFO of Musso & Frank. “We kept a lot of the same architectural and design elements as you would have seen in existing dining rooms.” (Restaurant closed for holidays due to spike in omicrons but will reopen on Jan. 11)
With wood-paneled upper walls and murals, the new rooms feature intimate dining spaces and a VIP wine room, along with larger rooms for hosting industry events for up to 50 people. – SYDNEY ODMAN
This story first appeared in the January 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.