Ambitious plans by a Hollywood vegan dream team to open a gourmet animal-free restaurant in Studio City, Los Angeles, have apparently been put on hold.
Back in late October, it was reported that Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, were partnering with “Pretenders” singer Chrissie Hynde and producer Steve Bing on the venture, with famed chef Tal Ronnen (who catered Ellen and Portia's wedding) designing the menu.
All in all, it seemed like a good move: veganism has rocketed in popularity over the last few years with few upscale restaurants dedicated to the lifestyle. All of those involved not only brought experience and deep pockets to the venture, but also added celebrity to further the allure.
While updates were promising (in February, Eater LA reported that the restaurant would open shortly in Studio City on the site of a former tapas joint), new info suggests that the venture has stalled.
"Bokado owner Frank Leon has confirmed that the vegan restaurant plans have fallen through," writes Eater LA. In its place will be a "gastropub" called The Village. Despite serving dishes like Beef & Lamb Sliders with Capers Remoulade and Pancetta Wrapped Tuna Tartar, Leon also plans to honor Ellen's vision "by serving a few of her favorite vegan dishes."
So yeah, it's a bummer — but hopefully, we're just seeing a hiccup in planning and not a total abandonment of the business idea. Until we hear more, check out this list of other delicious vegan/vegetarian restaurants in the Los Angeles area, courtesy of HappyCow.