Over the last two years, a new exciting restaurant has been quietly in the making near 9th and Hill St, a corner in Downtown LA’s Historic Core that has been largely untouched even through the last decade of downtown urban revitalization. That’s all about to change, however. The new restaurant at 9th/Hill, called Stocking Frame, will be opening soon, giving this block near the Fashion District a much needed jolt in the arm. (The new CrossFit 213 gym recently opened up at 9th/Hill as well.)
The lease was signed in the summer of 2010 for the ground floor space of a historic 1917 brick building that once housed a textile manufacturing company, according to the co-owner of Stocking Frame, Jerry Aschoff, who once managed Habana at The Lab in Orange County and then opened the highly popular Lola Gaspar in edgy Downtown Santa Ana, which he still owns today.
“That’s how we came up with the name Stocking Frame,” Aschoff tells me. “The historic building we’re in was used for textiles and manufacturing.” In case you don’t know what a stocking frame is (and neither did I), it is a mechanical knitting machine that apparently played an integral part in the Industrial Revolution since it helped mechanize the textile industry.
The space inside where the restaurant is being built-out is spacious and open along with soaring ceilings against beautifully exposed brick walls. According to Aschoff, “almost everything is being hand crafted” that’s going inside the restaurant including one of the main features: an elongated curving wood bar counter that will soon be a “great spot to watch the game.” The restaurant space, with use of lumber as part of the decor, is meant to feel like a lodge that “takes you away to a whimsical place.”
Aschoff, who developed Lola Gaspar into the popular restaurant that it is today, plans to bring the same “quality of ingredients” and “details in the food” to Stocking Frame here in Downtown LA. There will be a rotating/market menu where most of the ingredients will be made from scratch, including the cheeses and condiments. The menu hasn’t been finalized yet but will be “eclectic and progressive” according to Aschoff. “We’ll have a smaller menu but perfect it.”
I asked Aschoff why he chose to open in Downtown LA and we were definitely on the same page with his response: “With a background from New York, the closest place that resembles that look and feel is Downtown LA. I like the urban downtown and I want to be a part of that growth, as part of a team. I want our food scene to be able to compete with cities like San Francisco and Chicago .”
The build-out inside at Stocking Frame is about 70% complete. Current plans for the restaurant is to soft open in mid-to-late February 2013. The hours are yet to be determined.
For more info, check out www.thestockingframe.com