Along with the wave of hotels breathing new life into century-old DTLA buildings comes an even bigger wave of restaurant renovation projects in the surrounding blocks. One of the most intriguing is the former Dutch Chocolate Shop on W. Sixth Street, which local architecture/interior design firm Omgivning is at work reimagining as a restaurant and lounge.
(If you joined us last year for the NEWH Hospitality Fashion Challenge Runway Event during BDwest, youâ€™ve seen Omgivningâ€™s work. Theyâ€™re the design team behind the Exchange LA venue, in the former Los Angeles Stock Exchange building.)
Plans call for preserving the handcrafted tiles that cover the former chocolate shopâ€™s walls, arches and vaulted ceilingsâ€”a design modeled after a German â€œbierstubeâ€ by Pasadena tile maker Ernest Batchelder. A leader in the American Arts and Crafts movement, he was commissioned to create the elaborate interior in 1914 by a developer hoping to popularize hot chocolate. The space later became a cafeteria, and was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in1975.
While the name and opening date of the new restaurant have not been announced, it is expected to debut later this year.