1933 Group owners Dimitri Komarov, Bobby Green, and Dmitry Liberman are following up their successful landmark restorations of Idle Hour and Highland Park Bowl with their acquisition of WeHo legendary watering hole and restaurant Formosa Café. The West Hollywood location will pay tribute to its colorful past — and commemorate a unique piece of L.A.’s history.
(L to R: 1933 Group owners Dimitri Komarov, Bobby Green, and Dmitry Liberman)
The L.A. legend shuttered last December and owners sought a company that would celebrate the restaurant’s rich history. The 1933 Group is collaborating with the family of the original owners to refurbish the property, incorporating cherished keepsakes and weaving the historically Chinese influence throughout the culinary program.
“We are honored to partake in the next phase of Formosa Café,” says Komarov, 1933 Group Co-owner. “In a time when beloved establishments are closing throughout Los Angeles, our company mission has evolved to prioritizing the preservation of the city’s architecture and history by acquiring and breathing new life into notable gathering places such as this.”
Santa Monica Boulevard’s Formosa Café, built in 1925, evolved into an infamous hideaway for Who’s Who in Hollywood — including John Wayne, Gable, Bogey and Bacall, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Warren Beatty, Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, and Sinatra — in some part due to the protocol of preserving anonymity to celebrity patrons, a practice that will be continued with latest rendition.
In 1991, patrons petitioned to save the building from demolition and the city of West Hollywood chose to conserve and protect the cafe, which has undergone several iterations over the years. The renovation will preserve historic integrity.
“With Formosa Café, our objective will reflect that of Idle Hour and Highland Park Bowl; approach the restoration with sensitivity to its origins, owners, and patrons in an effort to preserve the history as much as possible,” says Green, 1933 Group Co-owner and Designer. “By protecting these locations, that history will be told throughout generations.”
1933 Group is slated to begin construction in the coming weeks.
About 1933 Group:
Formed more than a decade ago, the 1933 Group helms a lauded portfolio of bars in Los Angeles, including the historical restorations of Highland Park Bowl and the barrel-shaped bar Idle Hour in North Hollywood, Harlowe in West Hollywood, Sassafras in Hollywood, La Cuevita in Highland Park, Bigfoot Lodge in Los Feliz, Thirsty Crow in Silver Lake, and Culver City’s Bigfoot West and Oldfield’s. Combining design aesthetics that embrace various time periods in early America with a passion for cocktails and the revival of the art of bartending, owners Bobby Green, Dimitri Komarov, and Dmitry Liberman create imaginative libations and scenes throughout LA’s drinking landscape. Each concept reflects bold, modern interpretations, reflective of the company’s dynamic partners and memorable eras. For more information, please visit www.1933Group.com.