Broad museum restaurant taps French Laundry alum Timothy Hollingsworth
When the Broad contemporary art museum opens downtown next year, it will house not only nearly 2,000 pieces of art from the 1950s to the present, but a restaurant helmed by former French Laundry chef Timothy Hollingsworth that will be a cornerstone of a new Grand Avenue plaza.
The restaurant is the result of a partnership between Bill Chait’s restaurant group Sprout and museum founder Eli Broad. Rory Herrmann, former chef of Bouchon in Beverly Hills, also has signed on as director of culinary operations for coming Sprout projects, including the museum restaurant and an Arts District market.
The concept of the restaurant has yet to be decided, but it likely won’t be fine dining. “What is fine dining now? Everyone has already removed the tablecloths,” Hollingsworth said. “It will be approachable yet innovative and creative, and hopefully something for those who live downtown and people who are traveling from other parts of the city [or beyond] to visit the museum.”
Chait, who is partnered in Bestia, Rivera and Republique among others, said he and Broad started discussing a museum restaurant a year ago, and it went from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet, with an expected 175 to 200 seats in a free-standing building perched above Hope Street. It will be a design effort between designer Osvaldo Maiozzi, who has worked on several other projects with Chait and a to-be-named architect and interior designer.
[Updated: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said that Osvaldo Maiozzi would design the restaurant in conjunction with the Broad museum’s architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro.]
As Grand Avenue is redeveloped, Chait said he hopes the restaurant will be a focal point. “How do you get the 7th and Spring crowd to come up to Grand Avenue?” Chait said. The traditional cultural draw of Grand Avenue has been the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Disney Music Center and Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), which haven’t necessarily been part of a youth movement, Chait noted. But Hollingsworth “himself is young and identifies with what’s hip and contemporary while also just coming from a world-class restaurant group.”
In 2013, Hollingsworth stepped down as chef de cuisine of Thomas Keller’s French Laundry and moved to Los Angeles with plans to open a taqueria. But he said he couldn’t pass up the opportuntiy when Herrmann, who had worked with Hollingsworth at Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, approached him about the Broad project.
“I liked the idea of being part of something new and exciting,” Hollingsworth said, “and developing a sense of community downtown.”
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