The revitalization of Broadway got another strong boost this week as the French bistro, Figaro (from Los Feliz), soft opened yesterday in a massive ~18,000 square foot restaurant space — an historic 2-story edifice built for Schaber’s Cafeteria in 1928. A new banner announcing their opening was also put up yesterday on the building’s ornate facade. The restaurant sits on a block along Broadway between 6th and 7th Streets, a few doors down from the venerable Clifton’s Cafeteria, which is slated to be reborn next year after a major revamp by local restaurateur Andrew Meieran.
Figaro’s new flagship space at 9,000 square feet on the ground floor alone (including another 8,600 square feet on the second level), is a stark contrast from their much smaller original location on Vermont Ave in Los Feliz — basically going from “cutesy” to “grand.” The menu at the downtown location will be similar to the Los Feliz location with slight variations that will likely be refined overtime as they figure out what the downtown crowd wants. The large pastry section, a full boulangerie patisserie, takes up almost one entire side of the restaurant offering everything from macarons to baguettes to quiches to sandwiches.
The significance of Figaro, along with Clifton’s Cafeteria, is that these two large-scale investments are the first “seeds” planted on this block along Broadway (between 6th and 7th) that will attract more new investments nearby. As with any urban revitalization effort, it always starts with one successful project to get the ball rolling from a micro-to-macro level. The goal is to plant these “seeds” on every block along Broadway, which is already happening especially on the southern portion by 9th where Ace Hotel, Umamicatessen, Two Boots, etc. have firmly planted their roots. It is only a matter of time until more and more new businesses begin to open along Broadway, forming a critical mass — a tipping point — that brings Broadway back to its original grandeur.
Figaro is now open Monday thru Friday 8 am to 11:30 am for breakfast/brunch, 11:30 am to 5 pm for lunch, 5 pm to closing for dinner. Sunday thru Thursday closes at 11 pm and Friday and Saturday closes at midnight. Happy hour is from 5 to 7 pm.