This is not the end of the Culver City bistro Waterloo & City, which will be closing at the end of 2014 after 4 1/2 years. Chef Brendan Collins says that he and his business partner Carolos Tomazos will be opening their popular restaurant again — but in a much smaller location. In the meantime, Collins is finally working on a solo project.
Collins said that it's been a terrific run, but that he and Tomazos had long been wanting a smaller location for their restaurant, which is named for the London Underground line where Collins spent a lot of his youth. Waterloo & City is almost 6,000 square feet. "Big restaurants are hard to run," said Collins. "We really didn't have the infrastructure. When you're doing 2,000 covers a week, it's hard."
They finally got a great offer on all those square feet — Brian Dunsmoor and Jonathan Strader will be opening The Hatchet Hall in the location in the spring — and decided it was time to move on.
Collins and Tomazos still have their casual (and smaller) restaurant Larry's in Venice, and are currently location-scouting. They'll keep the name and the menu, more or less, Collins says, but right now the location is up in the air. "It's not so much where it's going to land, as the feel and the size."
In the meantime, Collins says he's working on his first solo project. The chef, who worked in the kitchens of Anisette, Palihouse and Melisse before opening Waterloo & City, says he'd like to return to more refined cuisine. "Not completely upscale, but with more attention to detail."
He'd also like some time off, ("I want to rest too; I've worked like a dog for five years") after being too busy to take a vacation or to get back to England to see his family.
Waterloo & City will be open until sometime in January, according to Collins, or possibly as early as New Year's Eve. Until then, maybe stop by for a plate of pork shank ravioli or chicken liver mousse with toast and a pint or two.