It’s been over four decades since Union Station’s historic Fred Harvey Room has been occupied by a restaurant. After October 2, all that might be set to change.
The Metro L.A. Board of Directors announced today that Downtown restauranteurs Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman of Spirited Group—the same duo that opened Cole’s, Seven Grand, and Casey’s Irish Pub—have applied for the lease on what was once the Harvey House, a restaurant and lounge space that closed in 1967. According to Metro’s official blog, The Source, if the board votes to approve the lease, Moses and Needleman will open an “American brewpub with a hometown menu.”
The build-out would take an estimated year to 14 months to complete and the lease for the space would be locked in for 20 years. All renovations—which the report estimates to cost between 1 and 1.5 million—would be done under the watch of an architectural historian provided by Metro. Of course, given Moses’ track record with historic spaces (he was responsible for the award-winning restoration of the century-old Cole’s P.E. Buffet space and is currently restoring a portion of the Normandie Hotel for an upcoming bar) it would appear that the room is in very capable hands. The original Harvey House, an Art Deco gem that was owned by Fred Harvey and designed by Southwestern architect Mary Colter, was previously only available for filming and special events (Fiona Apple shot her music video for “Paper Bag” there) before Metro began scouting potential suitors for a restaurant and bar.
Since purchasing Union Station from a private firm back in 2011, Metro has announced a long-term Union Station Master Plan, which aims to transform the transit hub into “a premier destination” for visitors. Part of that plan involves adding new dining and concession options. With a stark lack of dining and drink options, the iconic train station has a long way to go before claiming to be a citywide destination, but recruiting two business owners partially responsible for Downtown’s current renaissance is an ideal way to start.
Other news of note for Union Station: Santa Monica’s Crepe Café is looking to open an all-day restaurant in the former Union Bagel space, the team behind Gyoro-Gyoro Izakaya plans to open a to-go bento box outlet, and Bunker Hill boutique coffee shop, Barista Society has plan to open in the station’s East Portal.