Inside the $500 Million Renovation at Beverly Center
A look at the latest shops, dining and a new VIP getaway at the shopping center that boasts 4,200 registered stylists.
Nestled in the heart of Los Angeles since 1982, the eight-story Beverly Center has reopened after a $500 million makeover with a new lineup of buzzy restaurants, shops and VIP perks. The lighter, brighter design features a 25,000-square-foot skylight, open apertures that peek into upper levels to drive impulse shopping and a central court with an LED screen, staged for events such as Friday’s “Candidly Costumes” panel moderated by The Hollywood Reporter’s style & fashion news director Booth Moore. Taubman Centers CEO-president Robert Taubman and COO William Taubman (Beverly Center owners) were on site for the grand reopening.
“We have 4,200 stylists registered here!” says William Taubman, a nod to the Beverly Center’s longtime partnership with Hollywood's Costume Designers Guild, the Motion Picture Costumers Guild and the Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists Guild. He also noted his work with Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin and independent curator Jenelle Porter to install works by L.A artists such as Catherine Opie and Geoff McFetridge. A new installment in January will include pieces by artist Pae White on the escalator walls, visible at night from the exterior, and hanging installations are planned for the central court. Here's a guide to what's new, including shopping, dining and VIP perks.
“There are now 19 luxury brands upstairs, and probably only 15 shopping centers in the United States have that many,” says Robert Taubman. New additions include MCM, Balenciaga, Longchamp and Brooks Brothers (relocating from Rodeo Drive later this month). Also notable is an expanded 4,487-square-foot Michael Kors store and a 28,300-square-foot Zara store, the largest in Los Angeles. A much-anticipated 11,000-square-foot L.A. flagship for renowned Miami-originating, multi-brand luxury boutique The Webster, with clients such as Kim Kardashian West, is slated for 2020. (A 4,000-square-foot location opened at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California, in 2016).
A few unique-to-Beverly-Center shops also stand out. Blinged-out hip-hop jewelry company IF & Co, founded in 2004 by cousins Steve Her and Ben Yang (brother of celeb stylist Jeanne Yang), opened in August. Specializing in custom-made-in-L.A. designs including diamond and gold grills, the store counts Justin Bieber, John Mayer, Kanye West, Rita Ora, The Weeknd, the NBA's Dwayne Wade, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, A$AP Rocky, Tom Cruise, the Crown Princess of Brunei and the late Michael Jackson as clients.
Yang told THR that he is creating a grill for Kaia Gerber and a ring for tech mogul Elon Musk designed with diamond baguettes and rubies embedded in the Tesla logo. On Saturday, Yang presented artist Takashi Murakami with a collab design of his “Happiness Panda” as a pendant covered in diamonds and multi-colored jewels on a white gold link chain, snapped up for $560,000 by Latin musician J Balvin.
Konnichiwa, I present to you... The custom jewelry piece of the year. Official collaboration with legendary world renown contemporary artist @TakashiPom commissioned by @jbalvin #MurakamiPanda Edition 1 of 2 This is something you will see in a museum someday that will increase in value. I am very honored to have been called for this. Thank You again Jose, You are the new King of jewelry. Period. Real VVS1 clarity E color white brilliant round diamonds. And all VVS1 baguette diamonds on the bale. All natural gemstones for all the other colors. Too many to list. Held by a one of a kind 2 tone white gold #18K snake Cuban link. @IFANDCO or nothing. #BenBallerDidTheChain #TakashiMurakami #RealVVSdiamonds #NotHipHopVVSdiamonds #JBalvin #IFANDCO
The Celect, relocated from Newport Beach in February, peddles a well-curated mix of global men’s and women’s fashions by innovative brands such as Julien Dossena for Paco Rabanne, Molly Goddard, several of Issey Miyake’s labels and Chalayan, along with an eponymous collection of voluminous poncho tops and balloon pants. Stylists K.J. Moody (Beyonce’s cousin, who is part of her styling team at Parkwood Entertainment) and Zoe Costello, who works with the hip-hop trio Migos, pull from the shop.
Another longtime celeb go-to is Traffic, the multi-brand boutique Michael and Sara Moldovan opened in 1984, now expanded to 5,700 square feet. Known to stock emerging and hard-to-find labels (think Heron Preston), the store was the first on the West Coast to carry Off White, Dsquared2, Moschino, Balmain, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana and Vivienne Westwood. Stylists Dave Thomas (who works with John Legend and Lionel Richie) and Derek Roche (Diddy and Nicki Minaj are clients) have hit up the shop that has outfitted Legend, Cardi B, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Springsteen and Nicole Richie.
A suite of eateries have popped up at street level, where drought-resistant greenery now blooms. Jodie Foster, Nicole Richie, Laverne Cox and Tori Spelling have frequented Farmhouse, the seasonal farm-to-table restaurant from Laurent Halasz, “executive farmer” Nathan Peitso and Michelin-star chef Craig Hopson. Next door, fried chicken and cheddar waffles are a specialty at John Kunkel’s Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, while cafeteria-style Japanese restaurant Marugame Udon boasts robotic noodle-making machines and French bakery-cafe Pitchoun peddles hybrid churro-croissants with custard filling and other treats. Also in the mix is the fourth L.A. outpost of chef Alvin Cailan’s egg-centric gourmet concept Eggslut, loved by Drew Barrymore.
James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina and chef Adam Sobel’s coastal Italian restaurant Cal Mare’s guest list includes Tracee Ellis Ross, Vivica A. Fox, NBA All-Star Stephen Curry and his Food Network star wife Ayesha Curry. Due to open is an International Smoke barbecue stall in Mina’s forthcoming The Street food hall debuting on the top floor in 2019. And on the sixth floor, retro burger-focused diner Easy’s by restaurateur Jeremy Fall hosted musician Miguel and his fiancée Nazanin Mandi before opening last month.
To meet the needs of all-star shoppers, a new Room Service program has debuted in partnership with London-based luxury lifestyle concierge Quintessentially. Membership includes the company’s onsite and virtual services (travel planning; last-minute bookings at hot restaurants, hotels, clubs and events; help finding nannies or dog walkers; gift shopping and more) at a hub next to the express elevator to the 7th floor luxury enclave. Other perks include free valet parking; exclusive event invites; access to a private lounge with food and beverages; storage lockers; select restaurant discounts; and a multi-use room with a conference table, steamer and mirrored space for fittings.
“It’s a hub for tastemakers and creatives,” says general manager Ralph Barnes. “We partnered with Costume Designers Guild president Salvador Perez to help us really cater to stylists and designers.” Room Service memberships, initially gifted to influencers, can be applied for on-site for a 2019 wait list ($500 annually, which covers the cost of valet parking once a week for a year, according to a Beverly Center publicist).
The front desk at Room Service welcomes anyone for complimentary basic concierge services (restaurant or hotel reservations, gift card purchases, currency exchange and more), as does a concierge desk in the center court (or text 310-928-9892). Guests living more than 50 miles away receive bonus discounts from select retailers. For easier access, a second valet has been added off West 3rd Street, joining the La Cienega Boulevard location, with text retrieval of cars. Happy shopping!