Le Petit Marché owner Mathew Cape told the Buzz in an exclusive interview this week that he is working diligently to re-open his popular neighborhood bistro before the end of the year…or sooner.
Buzz readers have been wondering what’s going on with the restaurant so we jumped at the chance to sit down with Cape yesterday to talk about the restaurant especially after we heard news of the cars that crashed into the front his building and the nearby Artworks Studio early Monday morning.
Cape told us why he’s very hopeful about re-opening soon and that he’s never giving up. After six long years, he realized his dream when he opened Le Petit Marché as neighborhood serving bistro, bar and market that offers seriously good food to friends and neighbors…and he’s not about to quit now despite suffering substantial delays to open that ended up eating into his working capital and forced him to either close or cut back last August.
“We were very successful when we opened,” Cape explained. “But, the permitting process and construction to open took much longer than anticipated. And, because we were paying rent the whole time, we began in a big deficit. When we had to pay those loans back at once, we were forced to make difficult decisions. We are dedicated to providing top of the line ingredients and wine/spirits; we did not want to stay open and compromise that, so instead, we decided to close for a few months to regroup so that we could reopen without any concession to the quality of our food.”
“I decided it was better to close and regroup than to comprise on the quality,” explained Cape, who candidly described his current efforts to secure an additional $400,000 to re-open. He said he is currently talking with potential investors who would be interested in coming in with a small investment to be part of their local restaurant/bar. He is specifically looking for someone with ties to the neighborhood. (Note: interested parties can contact Heather Duffy Boylston at [email protected].)
“But, we have shown the model can work,” said Cape, who shared the exclusive scoop with the Buzz that he just signed a contract that solidifies a partnership with celebrity Chef Todd English and his restaurant group to come in and manage the restaurant when they re-open. “They are excited about the partnership since this will be [English’s] first restaurant partnership in Los Angeles,” said Cape.
Cape also said he working with the owners of the building, who are fully supportive of restaurant. It certainly helps that Cape had the support of the neighborhood recently when he successfully renewed the restaurant’s alcohol permit. When we asked about the “For Lease” sign on the building, Cape said he was planning to ask them to take it down, but he knows that his landlords are obligated to show their lenders they are continuing with due diligence to try to rent the space. Although, it sounds like Cape is planning to be the one that occupies that space!
Le Petit Marché and the indefatigable Cape have won the hearts of many in the neighborhood. We hope our next story will be about his re-opening celebration!