May

May 18, 2018

Hotel Normandie’s Update

Hotel Normandie was built by famed Los Angeles architects Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen in 1926, falling into a state of disrepair between its original incarnation and the 21st century. That is, until architect and preservationist Jingbo Lou gave the historic building a much needed update in 2010. FE signed on for the ambitious project, working for the next four years on the property’s various spaces.   We started with remodeling and updating the hotel service kitchen that supplies the entire building, including room service to hotel guests. The hardest component of this part of the project was orchestrating the limitation of occupants for the entire building. We had to negotiate a compromise with Building and Safety to … Continued

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April

April 18, 2018

On the ball with Teragram Ballroom

The theater the Teragram Ballroom inhabits has been active since 1913, but it wasn’t until recently that its use as an arts space was re-established. Under the direction of brother duo Brian and Michael Swier, the Teragram Ballroom saw a return to its theatrical roots and its conversion into a live entertainment space complete with an on-site bar and restaurant. The Swiers reached out to FE Design to coordinate alcohol licensing, health and building permits, and expediting services for the century-old building.   Since the building had most recently operated as a print shop, FE filed for a change of use permit to allow for the sale and dispensing of a full line of alcoholic beverages, live entertainment and patron … Continued

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March

March 18, 2018

Blossoming kitchen design

Blossom’s location in Silver Lake may be known for its classic Vietnamese food, amazing wine program, and two-tiered dining, but the process of legalizing all of the above wasn’t exactly easy. FE signed onto the project to provide kitchen design and alcohol licensing for the restaurant’s second location.   In terms of kitchen design, FE took the layout provided by the architect and converted it into detailed kitchen schematics that fit into initial concept drawings for both the ground floor and the subterranean level. This entailed finding the necessary kitchen equipment and knowing how logistics, operations, and code compliance would work together cohesively in the space. Additionally, we ensured everything in the back of house was code compliant and up … Continued

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February

February 18, 2018

Our history with N/Naka

Chef Niki Nakayama has been a major force on the LA dining scene, especially since opening her restaurant n/naka in 2011. Our partnership first started in 2010, long before the restaurant received its critical acclaim, Chef’s Table feature, or months-long waiting lists. We helped Niki secure the proper permits to ensure that she could serve a modern kaiseki dining experience with no obstacles.   A little background on n/naka: diners enjoy a 13-course culinary experience that relies on the freshest seasonal ingredients–some of which comes from Niki’s own home garden–and presents them in their most natural state with an artful perspective. No guest ever experiences the same dish twice, meaning Niki takes the time to record every dish a customer … Continued

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January

January 18, 2018

The Venice Whale of a tale

Since opening in 1944, The Venice Whaler has been a community anchor in Venice Beach, providing food and drinks to locals and tourists and even the likes of The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and The Doors. When ownership changed back in 2014, restaurateur Mike Dobson called FE Design to help update the historic property.   The Whaler’s long history in Venice gave it certain advantages and disadvantages which FE researched extensively and took into consideration while working on the project. What started as an effort to legalize a portion of the outdoor patio to serve alcohol morphed into a more complicated issue.   Due to its age, The Whaler was entitled to certain grandfathered rights that protected it from new … Continued

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December

December 18, 2017

SAGE VEGAN BREWERY’S DEBUT

When Sage Vegan Bistro approached us about helping them expand into a brewery at their original Echo Park location, we knew it was a project we needed to be involved in. The innovative expansion planned to address a problem that many Los Angelenos didn’t even know existed — that most beers aren’t actually fit for a vegan diet, as many breweries use animal-derived additives and ingredients. More importantly, no vegan drinking establishments even existed in the L.A. area!   Situated in the heart of Echo Park, the original Sage Vegan Bistro location in the historic Jensen Recreation Center posed some inherent problems. Before starting the project, FE sorted through all of the logistics of installing a brewery in the 1924 … Continued

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