New York City restaurant Rao's -- known for its tough reservations and mix of politicos and celebrities including Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese -- famously forces its A-list crowd to schlep uptown to East Harlem for its red-sauce Southern Italian dishes.
Now the 117-year-old family-owned business is taking over the former Hollywood Canteen address at 1006 Seward St. The Canteen, founded by Bette Davis and MCA head Jules Stein during World War II, is situated in what is currently an anonymous post-production swath of south Hollywood.
"We peeked a bit at Santa Monica, Malibu and Beverly Hills, but this space spoke to us," says co-owner Frank Pellegrino Jr. "Sure, it's a bit of a journey, but they'll come. For us, they'll come."
The new Rao's is due in late spring.