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It would appear that interior designer and Spago co-founder Barbara Lazaroff has an issue with ex-husband Wolfgang Puck’s redesign plans for the restaurant.
Lazaroff, who did the restaurant’s design when it opened in 1997, says on her Facebook page, in a post that went out to excess of 3,000 friends: “Why would my ex want to tear this restaurant apart? Change for change sake? A waste of money … but actually all ego?”
Puck told The Hollywood Reporter on Oct 20, 2011 that his Beverly Hills flagship would shut down for six to eight weeks in the summer of 2012 to redo the restaurant. Waldo Fernandez, the designer of West Hollywood’s Soho House, was chosen for the redesign.
It seems the redo is more than Lazaroff expected.
She asks, “but why rip out this gorgeous skylight and replace it with a flat clear one … who will clean the bird poop off it every day.”
She’s also upset, though not quite as much, with the replacement “of the paintings I commissioned” by a long wine wall. She asks, “why not compromise and leave one painting?”
Then it gets a bit more personal when she asks about changing the color scheme to black, grey and brown along with the removal of the “art glass” between the kitchen and the dining room and its replacement with plain glass. “Why, for what other purpose than to say, Barbara’s design is going!” she writes.
Another change that doesn’t meet her approval is the entry/bar area’s flooring being changed from stone to carpet. “Who does carpet in the main entry in a high traffic area?” she asks and then says, “Oh he was going to cut in stone into the stone, but when he found out it was too difficult (he) thought about this dysfunctional option.”
Sufficiently revved up, Lazaroff takes a shot at the bar design saying the proposed striped awning has a look “out of a Chicago Godfather bar.” Ouch.
Onto to the private dining area where she says there would be “garden trellis work all around the walls with fake French doors plastered against the expanse of the largest wall … going nowhere.” There’s a stray line that says “take out the olive trees in the garden,” which appears to mean they’d be removed, and then comes her final reaction that came after seeing the plans, “I thought it was an episode of Ashton Kuchner’s Punk’d [sic] … it was an Episode of Pucked .. Ugly is Ugly.”
She ends with “as the designer who did it all gratis, as an owner … it is time to speak up!”
It would appear she did.
When reached for comment, Lazaroff, who according to the Wolfgang Puck corporate website, is a partner in the company, said she “would prefer that this not be published because it was on my personal Facebook page.”
She added that the posting was “not a personal vendetta against Waldo. But I have a lot of money invested in the restaurant. Does it need refreshing? Absolutely. We need new carpeting, new chairs. But I want to have enough money to fix things in the kitchen. I don’t want to see money wasted.”
A Spago spokesperson said Puck could not be reached for comment. The couple divorced in 2002.
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