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Historic DTLA Cafeteria Damaged in LA Riots to Be Transformed Into French Bistro

SchaberCafeteria-Figaro Broadway.jpg
Wall tile from the Schaber Cafeteria uncovered during the Figaro Bistro on Broadway construction (Photo courtesy the office of Councilman Jose Huizar)
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There are some seriously amazing things going on in Downtown on Broadway, as historic spaces are getting new life as restored and reimagined spaces for dining and entertainment. Now comes word the historic Schaber Cafeteria, built in 1928 and heavily damaged during the 1992 riots, is about to get a remodel and be transformed into Figaro Bistro on Broadway.

If you think the name is familiar, you're right: It's the same people behind Los Feliz's Figaro who are taking charge of the Schaber space and turning it into a French bistro.

A little background on the space, courtesy City Councilman and "Bringing Back Broadway" initiative proponent Jose Huizar's office:

The historic Schaber Cafeteria was designed by Charles F. Plummer in 1928 and was one of Broadway’s most famous and popular cafeterias in the 1920s and 1930s. The building was set on fire and severely damaged during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
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Here's what's going to happen to the space:

The 9,000-square-foot ground-level space situated on a two-story Spanish Colonial Revival building, will accommodate a full-service restaurant, kitchen and on-site bakery, as well as bakery retail with patio dining. A future phase of the project would incorporate the 8,600-square foot upper-floor mezzanine to serve as an additional dining space and a bar/lounge with live music. The project’s design is intended to channel the classic casual French elegance of the 1930s and great measures are being undertaken to respect and incorporate historic features into the design.

Sadly, so much of the Schaber space was damaged or destroyed by fire during the riots nearly 20 years ago. As the Figaro team worked in the space, though they stripped away some drywall and uncovered historic wall tiles. Says Figaro co-owner Jonathan Mgaieth: "We will continue to make the most of whatever original features remain, and create an ambiance that complements the building’s history throughout the restaurant."

And the food? Think iconic French items like wine, cheese, and pastries, as well as bistro fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pitched as "a haven for urban foodies," Figaro Bistro on Broadway is eying a mid-2012 opening. Long term plans include being open 24 hours.