Formosa Cafe Space Shopped to New Tenant, Says Leasing Agent

The landmark L.A. restaurant was featured in 'La La Land’ and has hosted just about every actor from Ava Gardner to Johnny Depp.
@RCRex/Flickr/Creative Commons
Formosa Cafe, near The Lot studios, is closed.

It has been a bittersweet week for lovers of L.A. nostalgia. Just as La La Land was cleaning up at the Golden Globes, news spread that Formosa Cafe on Santa Monica Boulevard, featured in Damien Chazelle's musical, has shuttered.

Founded in 1925 by boxer Jimmy Bernstein and memorialized in Curtis Hanson's L.A. Confidential, Formosa Cafe became synonymous with Hollywood as just about every actor — from Ava Gardner to Johnny Depp — has plopped down in a famed red booth. Its landmark designation in the '90s should ease concerns that it could be reborn as a Chick-fil-A.

"We are trying to put in the right tenant who will be there for a long time — preferably somebody local who can bring back some things that have been lost over the years," says Colliers International's Gabe Kadosh, the property's leasing agent.

This story first appeared in the Jan. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.