downtown los angeles, historic core

Figaro French Bistro Now Open on Broadway in Downtown LA

The new French bistro, Figaro, is now open on Broadway, helping to revitalize LA's most historically significant thoroughfare

The new French bistro, Figaro, is now open on Broadway, helping to revitalize LA’s most historically significant thoroughfare

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.

Figaro is now open on Broadway, adding to the revitalization efforts to bring back the grandeur lost on this historically significant street

Figaro is now open on Broadway, adding to the revitalization efforts to bring back the grandeur lost on this historically significant street

Figaro sits across the street from the beautiful Los Angeles Theatre

Figaro sits across the street from the beautiful Los Angeles Theatre

The spacious restaurant can accommodate several hundred diners at once

The spacious restaurant can accommodate several hundred diners at once

The pastry section

The pastry section

A diverse variety of pastries ranging from macarons to baguettes

A diverse variety of pastries

Enjoy a cup of coffee with that pastry

Enjoy a cup of coffee with that pastry

Ample seating by the large pastry section

Ample seating by the large pastry section

The bar

The bar

Staircase that leads up to the second level seating area

Staircase that leads up to the second level seating area

Center map
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  1. Alan H says

    AMAZING addition to DTLA and to the “Bringing Back Broadway” initiative!!

  2. VERY well done. Didn’t skimp on the build out like wannabe french spot Coco Laurant on Grand. Bringing a well known established French concept to downtown finally.

  3. Sebastian says

    This is amazing, I can’t wait until all of broadway is rejuvinated. That picture of the Los Angeles Theatre from the window is an amazing picture.

  4. emmathackeray says

    Pretty amazing and beautiful space. Not sure I’m quite ready to eat on a patio on Broadway, though. But it’s a nice start.

  5. raymond3000 says

    What a beautiful space! Looks like a quality design. Is the upper level open yet? And what are the plans for possibly restoring the marquee on the exterior?

  6. This is great news. I hope that they can do a serious blog blitz to get the word out and get enough customers to the location.

    A few comments. The building could use architectural lighting. The patio seating should be pulled completely if they are going to half-ass it (as seen in the picture here). The green tiles beneath the lower windows need to be replaced with something better. The doors leave a LOT to be desired (see Bottega Louie & Coco Laurent). AND last but possibly most important; where is this restored marquee we were promised?

    ^Maybe all these things will come in a 2nd phase..? :-/

    Hoping for the best.

  7. Alex Braunstein says

    I agree with Hunter. They said they were going to restore the building! Where is the restoration?

    • downtown resident says

      are you kidding me? I’m sure this place was decrepit before they got ahold of it. Can’t wait to check it out

      • Lawrence says

        Agreed! This place was a rundown Denim store before this restaurant came in. Sure there are a few aspects that could be a bit better (additional building lighting, a more legit patio etc.) but let’s not undermine the fact that this is a huge investment of money into the building and a show of confidence in the future of Broadway and Downtown L.A. It represents a lot of hard work and effort. Overall, the finished product is quite good and of a caliber that will hopefully be replicated up and down the street. Also, once the restaurant signage goes up the building should have a stronger identity. Next up: Clifton’s Cafeteria!

  8. Cheers DTLA says

    SO exciting! Really hoping this will turn this block of Broadway sooner rather than later. Agreed that the facade detracts from the gorgeous interior – if it weren’t for the huge windows, there isn’t much sidewalk appeal.

  9. Interior looks top notch… but why did they paint over the exterior!??!?!?!?!??!?! It makes me cry… I always thought it was one of the most beautiful buildings on Broadway. Not sure if the exterior is stone or terra cotta…. but you don’t paint over materials like that!!!! I hope they can fix this. Sad sad sad.

    • My thoughts EXACTLY. Why ruin a perfectly good thing when you could have just cleaned the facade? Very sad. I don’t understand why they’d go through the trouble of painting if they left the cheesy tile, standard doors, and windows with scratches and grafitti. With just a little more effort, it could have been impeccable. Nonetheless, happy for this huge breakthrough on Broadway.

  10. MartaK says

    Shouldn’t they have a formal backlit sign attached to the front of their building? That banner of “We’re Open, Happy Holidays!” ain’t gonna cut it in the long run. I know that Bottega Louie has rather subtle exterior signage, but a restaurant on Broadway may need more bells and whistles to makes its presence known.

    It looks like the owners have spent beaucoup bucks on their restaurant, which is even more commendable since Broadway is more of an untested location than spots farther west, such as around 7th and Grand. Assuming their food and pricing are well tuned, they truly deserve to do well.

  11. Beautiful restaurant. I am not too concerned about the exterior as it is only cosmetic. The interior is stunning. The press release says they will be open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. That is amazing. Spread the word. Downtown during the holidays can be so quiet. Let’s hope this place has the “Bottega Louie” effect on Broadway! I hope they add some greenery to the sidewalk.

  12. DTLA resident says

    Nice to see this, but would also like to see development catering to people who work in this neighborhood that can’t afford $4 hot chocolates.

        • He probably means more choices than just the fast food places that close down at 6:00 pm. A $4 hot chocolate for a nice dinner place is not unreasonable. Plus, when Clifton’s reopens…you will see more options (price wise). I like seeing a real mix. Broadway should be open late…not like now when nobody is around after dark.

          • brudy says

            But there’s a lot of room between the current state of Broadway and $22 entrees. There can certainly be expensive yet still modern restaurants. Not every place needs to be a “destination.” I’d be nice to be able to go out and not break the bank or for a quicker meal.

          • corner soul says

            I agree with Brudy and Rob re: mid-priced amenities.

            There seems to be a huge disconnect between high end and dirt cheap. I think what’s really needed for downtown to hit critical mass is more housing/shops that cater to students, artists, hipsters, DINK’s, the service industry, office grunts, etc. (in other words, all the young people living nearby in Echo Park, Silver Lake, Highland Park, East Hollywood and Koreatown.)

            In most other sketchy urban centers these would be your bread and butter tenants. I mean let’s face it, there’s only so many yuppies in LA looking to slum it a few blocks from skid row.

    • There’s more than enough establishments on Broadway to cater to people that can’t afford $4 hot chocolates. We need more adult restaurants like this to clean up the filth that is Broadway.

  13. topher says

    Congratulations! Another great addition to Broadway! BROADWAY RISING!

    I have to agree with a few commentators on here. Figaro needs to fine tune its space and atmosphere. I’ve been to Figaro in Los Feliz and it has such beautiful old world Paris charm. With that said, I was really looking forward to the opening Figaro Broadway. Seeing from these photos, I must admit that I’m disappointed with the atmosphere. Given that they’ve done such a great job with Figaro Los Feliz, I thought they would keep the interior/exterior design along the same lines but take it to the next level…perhaps something similar to Moulin Rouge but not quite that extravagant. The interior lighting is too bright with all the recessed lighting making it feel like a cafeteria, washes out everything and takes away the mood of the space.

    Nevertheless, I’m glad the Figaro family invested in dtla!

  14. Sebastian says

    I would love to give them the Palace Cafe signage Idea, but there is no email address for them on their website. Brig maybe you can contact them and have them read our comments to see what they think.

  15. Andrew W. says

    Like many others have commented, I agree there needs to be more architectural lighting to help highlight this building’s historical value, nontheless this represents a great investment to this part of DTLA and the continued revitalization of our city’s core.

  16. Scott says

    Just had the worst cappuccino!!! They have no idea what’s going on. If someone knows the owner, please take them to Tierra Mia, Syrup, Coffee Bar etc… For an education. Also, $12.00 for a take-away sandwich, Bottega Louie is $6.00. I’m so annoyed.

  17. Manny says

    Am I the first to manger au le Bixtro Figaro !

    Es-que je suis le premier pour manger a Figaro Bistro ? L’omelte Figaro etait delicieuse Le Francais pur le choix et value assez. Bravo !

    Delicious and fairly priced for the excellent product.

    Manny Gutierrez

  18. archie says

    Sebastian is exactly right about the signage. C’mon get with it Figaro! You’re on Broadway! Now will somebody restore and expand the fabulous potential of the Spring Street Arcade? That new flooring is kind of sad. I walked through last week and it was tragic in there. Couldn’t this be a market like the Ferry Bldg. in San Francisco or get Nancy Silverton to put a bakery in there like at the Farmer’s Market. But such a magnificent space and exterior!

    • Absolutely love the interior. Just beautiful. I actually love the lighting, pot lights and all. Most important, love the food. As far as the $4 hot chocolate, who cares. There are a few places close by where you can get cheaper hc. Go there. Thanks for contributing to the revitalization of this grand street.

  19. John K says

    What happened to the exterior? Totally botched the execution and cheapened the grand old building. Why would they get ride of that beautiful green windows on the second floor? The painted stone is so tacky and the windows/doors not very historical. Bummer.

    Also, I expected an interior that looked like the Los Feliz original. This doesn’t feel right.

  20. Clark says

    Agree completely they missed the mark on the exterior – will definitely have to at least invest in some awnings.
    However, thrilled with the interior and the availability of morning or evening treats on the go. So glad to have an adult restaurant without music so loud we have to scream across the table.
    I have tried the chocolate croissant and macaroons so far. Was thrilled to be charged only $1.80 for my macaroon instead of the outrageous Bottega price. I don’t think downtowners go to Bottega Louie anymore – I think it’s all the west siders exploring downtown and people from the valley trying to be hip.
    Will try for breakfast this weekend – my true test of a restaurant.
    There are plenty of places on Broadway to get a $1.50 cup of hot chocolate, so I’m happy to pay $4.00 to avoid the filth and the people in those $1.50 places. Cheap eats are plentiful around downtown so I’m thrilled to see a clean, presentable, well dressed and polite wait staff ready to serve adults.

  21. archie says

    Drove by tonight, Friday, about 10 pm and it looked kind of sad. A few customers. That lighting is too bright and is not flattering, atmospheric or romantic for a supposed “french bistro”. As others have said, it’s needs some exciting signage outside, better lighting etc. Those sidewalk tables look forlorn and pathetic. Needs awnings, heaters, railing, box hedges, SOMETHING. As usual, Bottega Louie packed to the rafters. Good lighting etc, there. Coco Laurent with no noticeable signage didn’t look very crowded. As John K said it “dosen’t feel right”, Looks unfinished. A long way from Vermont Figaro look, which was packed tonight. I ate there earlier.

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  23. I have to say I went to Figaro on Christmas Day and was quite impressed. It is a much warmer restaurant than Bottega Louie. The lunchtime crowd was small but it had only been open since the beginning of the week, and Christmas week yet. The food was great as well as the service. Nice looking bar as well. The Bloody Mary was spicy and perfect. Check it out. It is a great addition for the Historic Core!

  24. Had dinner there on Christmas Eve. Exterior can definitely use some work – light signage and awning would be a great start. Interior is beautiful. A little sparse and mis-matched, but adds to the charm. Lights are too bright at night, and bulbs are different color temperature (I prefer the warmer incandescents). Macarons were stale, escargo was extremely salty. Ribeye was good, puff pastry with lobster inside was delicious – I forget the name. Server was extremely nice and friendly. I think they have a lot to work on the potential is huge. I love the location. A welcome addition for sure and can’t wait to go back.

  25. Steven Dornbusch says

    Figaro is beautiful inside, the service impeccable, and the food carefully prepared. 2 of us enjoyed superlative omelets, with perfectly prepared greens and potatoes. Add one coffee for a grand total with tax of…$25.00 Shit, that’s just 25% more than IHOP! When Clifton’s finally reopens Mr. Meieren will have one strong competitor. BRAVO!

  26. gail dulsy says

    Beautiful decor. Excellent pastries. The ambiance is great nice music that is not too loud. City leaders please please keep the wine-os away from Broadway.

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