Waterloo & City, the new gastropub from Brendan Collins and Carlos Tomazos, is set to open in three weeks, wrote Collins in a text message yesterday. The gastropub, which has been under construction for some months now, is in the old Crest House ("the layout is intact; we've just tarted it up") location in Culver City. Collins (Anisette, Melisse), is leaving Palihouse next week in order to work fulltime on the project, where he will be the chef and co-owner with Tomazos (Le Bernardin, Per Se).
"It's a gastropub, but it's not British cuisine," said Collins, who is from northern England. The restaurant will have a full liquor license ("we can stay open until 2 a.m. if we want to on weekends"); a baker's oven in which Collins, who trained as a pastry chef, will make his own bread; a 30 foot copper bar; a rooftop garden, eventually; and an 800 square-foot fenced outdoor patio. "It'll be formally informal dining. We're going to do a cheese cart, but we'll do burgers too," said Collins.
Collins and Tomazos became friends when they worked together at Palihouse, eventually deciding to go solo and open their own place. (Thierry Perez, formerly of Fraiche, was briefly associated with the project but was not involved in the original concept.) Tomazos, who is from Cyprus, will be front of the house as well as co-owner.
The gastropub will initially be open for dinner, but Collins and Tomazos say that the large space will eventually include a deli café, to be open for breakfast and lunch, and eventually a butcher's shop too. (The space is being designed by the local firm Thoreen&Ritter.) "We have a really strong fine dining background," said Collins the other day at the restaurant, "but this is who we are." As for the name, it's a nod to Collins' time in London, Waterloo & City being the station where Collins began and ended most of his travels to Europe. Both men envision the gastropub as a meeting place, a hub if you will, and a place for industry people as well as the rest of us to gather. We'll have the pints: of poached shrimp, to go with finger bowls of aïoli, as well as a dozen beers on tap. Now all we need are the trains.
Waterloo & City: 12517 West Washington Blvd., Culver City.
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