New York’s Avra was popular with the business set when it opened on 48th Street in 2000, but no one could have predicted the speed at which its stylish 60th and Madison sister would take off in August 2016. Within days, the 300-seat David Rockwell-designed estiatorio was swelling with diners including Woody Allen, Jonah Hill, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Redford, Katie Holmes, Tony Bennett and Megyn Kelly.
Now Avra is opening its first location outside NYC, in the former Hakkasan space at 233 N. Beverly Drive.
“There are a couple of places [in L.A.] that do Greek food,’’ says Nick Tsoulos, whose partners are Nick Pashalis and Tao Group’s Marc Packer. “But not at our level, not the kind of seafood we serve” (i.e., marketpriced wild branzino or langoustines, imported daily from Europe, grilled simply with olive oil and accompanied by vegetarian sides).
Avra Beverly Hills’ design will be similar to the original’s but with an 80-seat bougainvillea-draped patio.
After construction delays scotched plans for an Oscar party launch, VIPs from coast to coast now are receiving bottles of olive oil along with a black-and-gold invite to the eatery’s April 26 opening, with 1,000 guests expected. Smaller dinners, “including one for the Greek community,” also are in the works, says Tsoulos, who’s “reaching out to Rita Wilson and Jennifer Aniston.”
This story first appeared in the April 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.