Gastropub proposed for Fred Harvey Room at Los Angeles Union Station!

Some exciting news to pass along this morning: The Metro Board of Directors this month will be considering a lease for a new gastropub to be located in the Fred Harvey Room at Los Angeles Union Station. Here is the Metro staff report on the proposed lease.

The lease is with Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman, who have been very successful with other downtown Los Angeles bars and eateries, including Seven Grand, the Golden Gopher, the Broadway Bar, Coles, Casey’s Irish Pub and several others that have helped fuel DTLA’s revitalization in recent times.

If the lease is approved by the full Metro Board at its Oct. 2 meeting, the new restaurant would be the first to occupy the Fred Harvey Room at Union Station since the original Harvey House restaurant closed in 1967. The space, which has been very well preserved (see the above photos), has since been used for special events and filming. Fiona Apple’s video for “Paper Bag” does a great job of showing off the Fred Harvey Room:

As for the timeline for a prospective restaurant opening, it will probably take several months to a year. Most notably, the kitchen area needs to be completely redone and the necessary permits secured from the city of Los Angeles. Metro staff say that all renovations and/or restorations will be done under the watchful eye of an architectural historian.

Metro purchased Union Station from a private firm in 2011 and has since been upgrading the station and planning for its future. The Metro Board on Oct. 2 will also consider approving the final version of the Union Station Master Plan, which seeks to preserve the station’s historic nature while expanding the station to handle the growing number of riders using the facility, as well as better connect it to surrounding neighborhoods. We’ll soon post more on the final version of the Master Plan.

The Metro Board earlier this summer also approved a lease for Cafe Crepe, which will occupy the space formerly used by Union Bagel and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here’s the menu at their Santa Monica location. Of course, Traxx has been open at Union Station since 1997 and continues to be the fine dining venue at LAUS while also operating the Traxx lounge.

The Metro Board this month will also consider leases for two kiosks to be located in the East Portal. One will serve bento boxes and the other kiosk will offer coffee.

17 replies

  1. THIS IS VERY COOL and Will Be Huge + to Union Station Way to Go Metro you have Brought Life back to Union Station

  2. The menu at Traxx has never really appealed to me. The Cafe Crepe menu looks a bit more to my liking (but we don’t know how much of it will be available at Union Station), and I haven’t a clue what kind of menu is proposed for the new gastropub (hopefully it would at least pay homage to the Harvey House heritage).

    For an all-too-brief time, the old “Fulton’s” restaurant in Old Sacramento (right across I St. from the Railroad Museum’s main building, and one flight down) operated as a sort of revival Harvey House (under the Harvey House name, presumably either run by or licensed from Xanterra); they served excellent comfort food, but were gone by my next visit to Sacramento; I understand that the space is now a wine tasting facility.

  3. Just what we need., another upscale restaurant in Union Station. How about something commuters, downtown residents and travelers could really use, an affordable coffee shop or diner ! Instead, foodies will be driving to Union Station for a “gastropub” experience. It’s a train station, not a movie set, shopping mall or “venue.”

  4. “Gastropub” doesn’t necessarily imply “upscale” or “expensive.”

    And if “Cafe Crepe” brings its full menu to the old Union Bagel suite, that certainly looks like it could be an “affordable coffee shop or diner.”

    And as to the crab cakes at Traxx, they may well be “fabulous,” but seafood is something I’ve never been able to get past my nose.

    Personally, what I’d like to see on a menu at Union Station would be a nice, traditional, yellow-gravy hot turkey sandwich.

    • Actually, there’s some fish head soup which is very delicious. When combined with certain spices, it is absolutely mouthwatering — Hunan (China) style cooking at Mao’s restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley. See Jonathan Gold’s food/restaurant commentary on the subject in the L. A. times. And you will absolutely get over the idea of refusing to eat fish.

  5. I like some of the comments mentioned previously.

    As some may be aware, I ate the last night of operation at the Fred Harvey Restaurant and used my Rail Travel Credit Card which at the time covered railroads such as ATSF and UP (but not SP better known as Espee).

  6. Can the restrooms at the restaurant be made handicap accessible?
    I was there for an event two months ago or so and have my doubts.

    • Hi there;

      Keep in mind that the restaurant closed in 1967 (and opened many years before) and very little has changed. I’ll pass this along to Metro officials but I’m guessing there will be some ADA issues addressed.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  7. […] Plans are moving forward to expand and modernize L.A.’s Union Station and, unsurprisingly, the proposed renderings are awful. Lots of glass? Check. Swoopy hygiene white? Check. Ignores the surrounding architectural and historical context while looking generically “futuristic”? Check. Designed by Grimshaw Architects, it looks like it could be plopped down anywhere in the world. On the bright side, a restaurant is looking to open in a long-empty and beautiful part of the station. […]