9/24/2012 02:52:00 PM

More on Manzke's Republique: Bistronomy, Bakery-Cafe and More

Manzke from Church & State days
The rumor that Campanile might close so Walter Manzke could move his Republique concept in is no longer a rumor: fully confirmed by Campanile's Mark Peel and Manzke, the storied 23-year-old La Brea restaurant will close sometime in November, and if all goes as planned, Republique could open as early as spring 2013 (or more plausible, June, says Squid Ink). So now that Manzke's project didn't take off Downtown as planned, what's in store for La Brea Avenue?

He's partnering with Bill Chait, the brains and brawn behind both John Sedlar restaurants, Rivera and Playa, as well as Short Order, Short Cake, Picca and Sotto. In short, he knows how to get things done. And when it comes to taking a historic building - it was originally built in 1929 for Charlie Chaplin - and turning it into something more bistro will be no easy feat. Chait tells the LA Times, changes to the space will include a more open kitchen and a wood-burning oven, and "revitalizing" the architechture, foyer and back dining room. Updating it to make it more in tune with today.

As for what Republique will be, Manzke says he's inspired by the current "bistronomy" trend happening in France, where haute chefs serve less expensive, though refined, food in a casual setting (Papilles follows the same philosophy). He caught the bug when he was at Church & State, especially since that was his first spot without the pomp and linen-lined tables. The restaurant will be more like a cafe during the day, and a wine bar with communal seating at night. "Out of necessity, it's the future of the business," Manze says. "Great chefs are going to more casual spots, and it's happening everywhere."

An offshoot of Campanile is already in the works for LAX, which should open in February. La Brea Bakery, which will also close and become a part of Republique, will also seek a new location.

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