Campanile, the seminal Los Angeles restaurant founded in 1989 by Mark Peel and his then-wife Nancy Silverton, is closing. Prolific restaurateur Bill Chait and critically acclaimed chef Walter Manzke sealed a deal late Wednesday night to take over the space with plans to install Manzke's envisioned bistro and bakery, Republique, in its place.
The storied restaurant, with its distinctly American approach using top-quality farmers' market ingredients, helped set the tone for Los Angeles dining in the 1990s.
Although rumors of Campanile's closure had been swirling for months, Peel insisted as recently as last week that the restaurant would remain open. But after losing his month-to-month lease this week (Larry Silverton, the building's owner, is Peel's former father-in-law), he said, "Walter and Bill are able, with a lot of financial backing, to pay a lot more. It makes perfect sense. It's money."
Campanile, expected to close Nov. 30, is home to the original La Brea Bakery, which was founded by Nancy Silverton. Irish conglomerate IAWS Group bought La Brea Bakery in 2001 and rented the original location from Peel. La Brea Bakery's storefront there also will close, but the business, which distributes to grocery stores and restaurants nationwide, remains open.