MARCH 18, 2020 | TEXT LAUREN GRACE MORRIS | PHOTOS PABLO ENRIQUEZ, COURTESY OF GUCCI OSTERIA
BEVERLY HILLS – Rodeo Drive. The infamous Beverly Hills street is home to all things luxury – now including Gucci’s first restaurant offering in the United States. Serving up California-inspired Italian fares concocted by the Michelin-starred chefs Massimo Bottura and Karime López and chef Mattia Agazzi at the outpost, Gucci aims to become a fixture in the Los Angeles region’s experimental food scene.
The design of the Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura Beverly Hills – which sits on the roof of the Italian fashion brand’s boutique – incorporates elements from the original Osteria location in Florence while taking on a distinctively Californian look. It comes to Rodeo Drive at a time when other major fashion players are also making their first forays into in-store hospitality: earlier this year, Louis Vuitton unveiled its inaugural restaurant and café in Osaka. This is a continuing trend: in Frame 129, we outlined how luxury retail and luxury hospitality are converging. In Frame 132, we wrote on the strategy behind Nordstrom’s impressive hospitality provision at its new sprawling NYC flagship – an essential offering considering that one in every four transactions across the retailer’s portfolio is food-and-beverage related.
What’s more: Vogue Business recently reported that NYC institution Bergdorf Goodman, English department store Browns and Tiffany & Co. have already opened or plan to add new food ventures to their fashion repertoire this year. ‘In the past, the restaurants were developed to keep customers in the store longer and spend more. Now restaurants are a way to attract people in store,’ Saks Fifth Avenue president Marc Metrick told the publication. It’s not a new idea by any means, or restricted to luxury – think of the food courts in any shopping mall – but integrating dining and drinking options are ways for retailers to become more resilient.
Accommodating to 50 diners at any given time, the intimate osteria space is covered in Gucci Décor wallpaper, adorned with antique mirrors, red marble dining tables and wicker dining chairs. Design features unique to the Beverly Hills restaurant include herringbone wood flooring and cherry-red velvet banquettes that evoke old Hollywood. Outside, a terrace is covered in Italian mosaic marble floor – another nod to Gucci’s motherland is an antique wooden pulpit repurposed as a bar.
So yes: it’s true that people may come to the restaurant for the garments but is quite likely that they’ll stay – and come back – for the gastronomy.