Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Jon and Vinny to Open Cookbook Market and Cafe in May

Cookbook Market and Cafe are coming to 310 N. Larchmont this May.

Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo have been hard at work on the Larchmont Blvd location of their latest venture Cookbook, a market and cafe. The Larchmont Cookbook is scheduled to open at 310 N. Larchmont Blvd, formerly Chan Dara restaurant, sometime in May.

“We have tried to keep as much of the original historic house on Larchmont as we can,”Shook told the Buzz, when he gave us a tour of the unfinished space. “We want to keep the charm but give the building a new purpose.”

Shook and his partner, Vinny Dotolo, both live in Hancock Park and really appreciate the value of our historic neighborhood’s architecture. So, finding a way to make the 1920’s building work for their vision of a market and cafe has been their top priority. Shook told us he’d heard 310 N. Larchmont was one of the oldest houses on the street and served as a dental office at one time. We found a permit online for new construction for a home and garage dated June 1920, that pre-dates most of the commercial construction in Larchmont Village, on Larchmont Blvd between Beverly Blvd and First Street, which followed just a few years later.

There’s lot of challenges in renovating an old building,  add the complications of opening a restaurant and a small grocery store, and it’s easy to see why it’s taken a long time for the Jon and Vinny’s team to feel confident about announcing an opening time table.

Plans call for a small neighborhood serving market stocked with produce, flowers, meat and fish, prepared foods, pastry and home goods, patterned after the two other Cookbook locations in Echo Park and Highland Park. The Larchmont location will have a small cafe and a wine shop, another collaboration with Helen’s Wines, a longtime partner of Jon and Vinny’s.  The inside space will have a cozy, local market vibe with shelves stocked with interesting items Cookbook Market founders curated over the past decade. In 2020, they sold the company to Jon and Vinny’s, according to, hoping they would expanding the brand. The Larchmont location is the first expansion and will offer cafe seating so patrons can enjoy coffee and pastry or other items.

Seating for the cafe is planned on the current outdoor patio.

“This is really a passion project for us,” explained Shook. “We wanted something like this in the neighborhood for ourselves too. We see this as a place where you can stop in and pick something up to take a friend’s house for dinner or bring home for dinner.”

Right now, the plan is to be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. exactly so shoppers can stop in late in the day and grab something for dinner. Shook and Dotolo are excited about serving the community and being part of the evolution of Larchmont Blvd. which is becoming more food focused.

A market has long been on the list of things people want to see on Larchmont, harkening back to the days when the street had several grocers including the elegant Albert T. Balzer Company, the first gourmet grocer in the state. In the 1959, the Balzer family sold to Jurgensen’s Markets which closed in the 1980s. There have been some other shops along the way, but none have really endured. It’s a tough business and Larchmont rents are high.  But now, the timing was right for Shook and Dotolo who seem like the perfect stewards to bring back the era of gourmet grocery shopping on Larchmont. This writer is ready and waiting!

In the 1920s, Larchmont was home to the Albert T. Balzer Company, one of the first gourmet markets in the state. Photo from “Larchmont, A Pictorial History,” available about Chevalier’s Books on Larchmont.
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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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  1. There’s one problem. This is not a ‘market’ like the old Quinn’s for example. I love Cookbook but it is extremely overpriced especially since new owners bought it. 4 items can easily run a person 80.00.
    Sad that Chan Dara left – I wonder how much the rent went up? Larchmont has become Brentwood – how many can pay the prices? Especially since a large part of the community has been put out of work by strikes. I’m happy for Cookbook but be prepared for spending mucho dinero.


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