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Josef Centeno Takes Over Pete's Cafe

Josef Centeno at Orsa and Winston
Josef Centeno at Orsa and Winston
Anne Fishbein

Three Josef Centeno restaurants all within walking distance of one another not enough for you? Well lucky you: There will shortly be a fourth restaurant with Centeno's stamp on it, and this one will serve breakfast. 

Pete's Cafe, the downtown diner that has been open on Main Street since 2002, is undergoing a revamp  courtesy of Centeno. Which is convenient for him, seeing as it's right around the corner from his other restaurants, Bäco Mercat, Bar Ama and Orsa & Winston

Though initially there was a discussion of a name change, eventually it was decided that the name would stay Pete's. "Pete’s has been here on this corner since 2002, before any downtown revitalization was really under way," Centeno says. "It paved the way for the opening of restaurants like Bäco Mercat. So Pete’s will keep the name."

Centeno will work as a partner with current owner Peter McLaughlin, who approached Centeno about "taking over the reins." The name will remain the same, but the look of the place and the menu will get overhauled. 

See also: 10 Best Restaurants in Downtown Los Angeles

In an email to L.A. Weekly, Centeno said he would take his inspiration from James Beard's American Cookery, the classic cookbook by the dean of American cookery, originally published in 1974 (it has since been reissued with a foreword by Tom Colicchio). Centeno says it was his first cookbook, and will allow him to draw inspiration for a menu of classic American dishes. 

That means club sandwiches, crabcakes, Waldorf salads, steak Diane and baked Alaska, to name a few, though Centeno cautions that the menu is very much still a work in progress. 

The restaurant is closed for renovations, and should reopen in October. And yes, it will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. More Centeno for us all.


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Pete's Cafe & Bar - Closed

400 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

213-617-1000

www.petescafe.com


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