NYC's Famed Spotted Pig Restaurant Headed to Venice's Abbot Kinney Blvd. (Exclusive)

10:00 PM PST 04/01/2014 by Gary Baum and Alexandria Abramian
Business partners April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman will be opening a Venice branch of their Spotted Pig at 1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

The gastropub, whose investors include Jay Z and Bono, adds its pedigreed culinary clout to the neighborhood's burgeoning restaurant row.

The Spotted Pig, the pioneering gastropub in Manhattan’s West Village whose gang of high-profile investors includes Jay Z and Bono, has committed to a site along continually gentrifying Venice’s hottest stretch, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Sources say it will take over 1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd., the former home of Local 1205, an upmarket deli and marketplace. Spotted Pig partner Ken Friedman did not immediately return a request for comment.

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The boisterous, ever-crowded restaurant opened a decade ago in New York. It’s known for dishes like ricotta gnudi and a chargrilled burger with Roquefort cheese, as well as a quintessentially New York scene, particularly on its casually clubby second floor, where the likes of Luke Wilson and Michael Stipe can often be found. A not-uncommon event: In early February, Tonight Show band leader Questlove hosted a party in honor of visiting Pussy Riot members Masha Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova, which was attended by the likes of Peter Sarsgaard, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, GirlsJemima Kirke and performance artist Marina Abramovic.

Well-connected former Smiths manager Friedman runs the restaurant along with partner April Bloomfield, who serves as chef. She got her start at London’s acclaimed River Cafe. They have since expanded their domain in Manhattan with the Breslin and the John Dory. Last year, they headed west with a takeover of the landmark 94-year-old Tosca Cafe in San Francisco’s North Beach.

The Spotted Pig’s culinary and decor sensibilities have spawned countless imitators across the country. It will now join a propulsive Abbot Kinney dining stretch currently best known for the no-substitutions sensation Gjelina, along with the seafood-centric menu offered by Salt Air, the Italian-minded peasant fare at The Tasting Kitchen and the updated Southern low country cuisine of Willie Jane.

Email: gary.baum@thr.com, alexandria.abramian@thr.com

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