Bouchon Beverly Hills, the only L.A. restaurant by celebrity chef Thomas Keller (of French Laundry fame, among other culinary destinations) will close on December 31. The closure will be the first time any Keller property has closed since 1991.
The property, which opened eight years ago, was always a bit of a hard sell. Bouchon itself was sometimes seen as hard to find, tucked into a second-floor space above Bouchon Bakery. That storefront bakery did do well—it was the highest-grossing per square foot of the several bakeries in Keller’s large group of restaurants—as did the more casual Bar Bouchon, and lunch service in the restaurant, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, but the more lucrative dinner service failed to find much of a crowd.
Keller’s company leased the space in a building owned by the city of Beverly Hills. City officials claim they tried to work with the restaurant on rent reductions and improvement allowances, but apparently it wasn’t enough to keep Bouchon afloat. And that might be a sign of a bigger problem for Beverly Hills, because the area just isn’t the buzzy fine dining destination it was back in the heyday of the 1980s and 1990s. These days, restaurateurs are more likely to open their high-end spots in DTLA or Santa Monica, a reflection of changing tastes and demographics.
For those who need one last fix of Keller’s French bistro menu (and don’t have a trip planned to Yountville, Las Vegas, or New York City, where the Bouchon locations will remain in operation) reservations for Bouchon Bistro are currently available online, and details of a closing party are expected to be announced closer to the end of December. Bar Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery will remain open as usual through the end of the year as well.
Bouchon Beverly Hills is located at 235 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills.
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