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GWNC Land Use Committee Recommends Support for Liquor Permit at New Bill Chait Restaurant on La Brea

Members of the GWNC Land Use Committee discuss an application for a liquor permit at a new La Brea Ave. restaurant with project representative Steve Rawlings.


Because of the Thanksgiving holiday this week, the agenda at this month’s meeting of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Land Use Committee was fairly brief, but it did result in a recommendation to support an application for a full liquor license at a new restaurant slated for the Maison Midi and old Café Midi space adjacent to the American Rag store at 148 S. La Brea Ave.


148 S. La Brea, which will soon be converted to the new “Cuisine of the Sun” restaurant.


Sample menu from the new Cuisine of the Sun restaurant, scheduled to open next year at 148 S. La Brea Ave.

According to the applicants’ representative, Steve Rawlings, the restaurant, Cuisine of the Sun, will be the latest offering from famed restaurateur Bill Chait (Tartin, Bestia, République, and others), and will offer both large and small plates.  Chef John Sedlar and American Rag owner Mark Wertz (who also owns the building) are also involved in the project, according to What Now Los Angeles and EaterLA.

Rawlings said the restaurant, which will have outdoor dining space in front of both its own and the American Rag storefronts, will open in the summer or fall of 2022.  It’s  seeking a Type 47 liquor license and a Conditional Use Permit allowing the sale and on-site consumption of a full line of alcoholic beverages.  The restaurant is scheduled to be open until 10 p.m. on week nights, and 11 p.m. on weekends, and will provide parking in the existing garage structure attached to American Rag.

Land Use Committee members discussed the reduction in street parking that will happen soon in the area, after Metro adds its proposed bus priority lanes from 3-7 p.m., the desirability of outdoor dining on such a busy street, and whether or not there would be some sort of barrier between the diners and the pedestrian area of the sidewalk.

Rawlings said the restaurant will be required to maintain a minimum 5′-wide passage along the sidewalk, as well as a physical barrier of some sort between the dining area and the pedestrian passage.  He said he was not aware of the coming bus lane project, but did say that because American Rag’s business drops off at night, there should still be adequate parking for the restaurant in the existing parking structure, even with the loss of street parking earlier in the evening.

Committee members also asked whether Rawlings has done any outreach to neighbors and neighboring businesses, including a synagogue on the block, and Rawlings replied that he does plan to do that, but because the GWNC was the easiest area group to connect with, it was his first stop.

In the end, the committee voted by a margin of 7 in favor and 1 abstention to recommend that the GWNC board support the liquor permit application, with several members noting that this is a busy commercial street, with many other restaurants (including several others with liquor permits), so the proposed use does seem to fit the neighborhood context.


Other Business


Single family home and fourplex to be replaced with a new 60-unit apartment building at 728-736 1/2 S. Manhattan Pl.


There was only one other vote taken at last night’s meeting – on a project that would  demolish an existing single family residence and fourplex at 728-736 1/2 S. Manhattan Pl., and replace them with a new 7-story, 60-unit multi-family apartment building with 24 studio units, 30 three-bedroom units, and 6 four-bedroom units.  Developers for the project, which would be built under the city’s Transit Oriented Communities guidelines, declined an invitation to present the project to the Land Use Committee, so the committee, as is its policy in such cases, voted to recommend that the GWNC board oppose the project unless and until such a presentation is made.

And finally last night, the committee voted to move its December meeting from its originally scheduled date of December 28 to Tuesday, December 21 instead.  The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., via Zoom.  The next GWNC board meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 8, also at 6:30 p.m., and also via Zoom.


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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