Diners looking for a nice sit-down meal in La Cañada Flintridge have a couple of options, but local entrepreneur Brady Caverly is betting that they are ready for one more.
Caverly is in the final stages of launching Flintridge Proper, an upscale restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Los Gringos Locos on Foothill Boulevard. The La Cañada resident hopes to open by February.
Caverly cleared a final procedural hurdle last week when the city Planning Commission voted 4 to 0 and approved his request to extend alcohol-sales hours, allowing Flintridge Proper to offer drinks as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Commissioner Jonathan Curtis was not present.
Caverly told commissioners that Flintridge Proper won't be a “shot-and-a-beer” kind of place, but that he wanted to be able to serve mimosas with breakfast and cocktails to late-arriving patrons.
Commissioner Rick Gunter said he is in full support of amending the permit because he believes the new restaurant will fill a vital role.
“I think we need more choices in town. We're trying to build a community that's diverse economically, so it's a nice idea to have some places open later,” Gunter said.
Caverly, the co-founder of Sherman Oaks-based nutrition and weight-loss product company Provida Life Sciences, said the project grew out of his and his wife Mary's desire for a local late-night spot.
“We like to stay in La Cañada and we like to hang out with our friends, and we thought La Cañada deserved a terrific place,” he said. “I started by identifying what La Cañada Flintridge needed, and we want to be able to serve those needs all throughout the day.”
Flintridge Proper will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, with both a family-friendly and more upscale menu as well as a full bar.
Caverly said he has brought in Chef Kevin Napier and General Manager Benjamin Chanler Laurin, both veterans of the Patina Restaurant Group. Patina properties range from the upscale Patina and Nick and Stef's Steakhouse in downtown Los Angeles to the Café Descanso at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada.
Architect Sam Marshall, who worked on L.A. hot spots Gjelina and Laurel Hardware, designed the Flintridge Proper space, which includes a separate room for the café and casual dining and a more upscale room with a bar.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story stated Marshall designed Gjelina. Gjelina was designed by MAI Studio. Marshall was the project manager.
The Caverlys are funding the launch themselves, but hope to bring in local investors soon.
La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce President Pat Anderson said Flintridge Proper is part of a wave of new business openings in 2012, including the Habit Burger Grill and Sprouts Farmers Market, that has brought the city's commercial vacancy rate down to 4%. Los Gringos Locos relocated to a larger Foothill Boulevard location earlier this year.
Anderson said she thinks Caverly's ambitious offerings may attract customers from outside the city.
Caverly said he hopes his restaurant will acquire a dedicated following at home.
“It's a community restaurant, and we're only going to have one chance to make a first impression,” he said. “We want people coming multiple times a week, so we have to over-deliver.”