If you still think of Broadway in Downtown as a street entirely devoted to bridal shops and other small stores catering to Latinos, look again. The Los Feliz bistro Figaro has just opened a large, gleaming new flagship restaurant on the same block where the remade Clifton's Cafeteria should reopen next year. Downtown booster Brigham Yen is excited (and has some nice pics):
Figaro’s new flagship space at 9,000 square feet on the ground floor alone (including another 8,600 square feet on the second level), is a stark contrast from their much smaller original location on Vermont Ave in Los Feliz — basically going from “cutesy” to “grand.” The menu at the downtown location will be similar to the Los Feliz location with slight variations that will likely be refined overtime as they figure out what the downtown crowd wants. The large pastry section, a full boulangerie patisserie, takes up almost one entire side of the restaurant offering everything from macarons to baguettes to quiches to sandwiches.
The significance of Figaro, along with Clifton’s Cafeteria, is that these two large-scale investments are the first “seeds” planted on this block along Broadway (between 6th and 7th) that will attract more new investments nearby. As with any urban revitalization effort, it always starts with one successful project to get the ball rolling from a micro-to-macro level. The goal is to plant these “seeds” on every block along Broadway, which is already happening especially on the southern portion by 9th where Ace Hotel, Umamicatessen, Two Boots, etc. have firmly planted their roots. It is only a matter of time until more and more new businesses begin to open along Broadway, forming a critical mass — a tipping point — that brings Broadway back to its original grandeur.