Confirmation arrives that a deal has been signed to turn the enchanting Campanile space over to Bill Chait’s Sprout Restaurant Group in order to turn it into Walter Manzke’s Republique. The L.A. Times reports that Mark Peel is expecting Campanile’s closure on November 30, 23 years after launching the formative restaurant and attached La Brea Bakery with Nancy Silverton while the two were still married. Peel is losing his month-to-month lease to the building, built by Charlie Chaplin and currently owned by Silverton’s father, Larry, claiming that Chait is simply able to pay “a lot more,” a situation the chef sounds resigned to when telling the paper, “It makes perfect sense. It’s money.”
With the coming closure of Campanile, one could view the last few years as a little rough for Peel’s expectations, after the chef opened two new concepts, Hollywood supper club and cocktail hub Tar Pit and Culver City’s business park-adjacent lunch spot, The Point, only to see them both close after relatively short runs.
Still, the chef makes it clear he’s far from hanging up his hat, though it may be back to the drawing board, either reopening Campanile in a new space or moving on to a new project. It doesn’t sound like closing Campanile was exactly his first choice, but in yet another sign of the times, one pushed by dead presidents.
In any case, wherever the ground-breaking L.A. chef goes, the city will be sure to follow closely, while a surfeit of Campanile tributes and homages are sure to mark the next two months until it leaves the building.