Gucci opens its first American restaurant in Beverly Hills


Gucci is set to open a restaurant on the top floor of its flagship store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California, Joshua Levine of the Wall Street Journal Magazine reports.

The restaurant, Gucci Osteria, is the latest high fashion branded restaurant to open in the past few years, though it’s not Gucci’s first foray into the culinary sphere. The original Gucci Osteria is located on the famous Piazza della Signoria in the historic 14th-century Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence, Italy

It was opened in 2018 by Gucci CEO Marco Bizarri, Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele, and restaurant entrepreneur Massimo Bottura, who is the chef behind the highly acclaimed 3-Michelin starred restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. (Gucci Osteria itself has one Michelin star.)

(L) Massimo Bottura, (C) Marco Bizzarri, (R) Alessandro Michele

Danilo Scarpati for WSJ. Magazine


Bizzarri told WSJ Magazine that after he and Michele joined Gucci in 2015, they had plans to close the Palazzo della Mercanzia because it was losing money. The two eventually came together and decided that opening a restaurant within the Palazzo would be a good decision. Bizzarri then called Bottura, who he has been friends with since childhood.

“We started thinking, ‘OK, we should do a restaurant, maybe with Massimo. How can we try to plan that?'” Bizzarri told the magazine. “So I invited [Michele and Bottura] on a blind date for lunch. Neither one knew the other was coming. It was the most beautiful lunch ever because I didn’t talk. They were talking with each other — we’ll do this, we’ll do that. The restaurant was born in this way.”

Gucci Restaurant LA

Gucci Osteria in Beverly Hills, CA

Ye Ron Mok for WSJ. Magazine


Today, Gucci Osteria in Florence is part of what is referred to as the Gucci Garden, which also includes the Gucci Garden Galleria exhibition rooms as well as a retail store. The restaurant has been positively received, with a menu that boasts dishes such as purple corn tostadas and pork burns, and a €100 tasting menu.

It received one Michelin star in November 2019 — around the same time it was being reported that the dream team had already set their sights on a southern California offshoot. 

Hello, Beverly Hills

The idea for the restaurant in the Palazza della Mercanzia developed over a lunch. The idea for the Beverly Hills outpost, however, came about much differently. 

“I was in Los Angeles [and] Susan Chokachi [president and CEO of Gucci North America] was showing me the new store, which wasn’t finished. I said, ‘Susan, it’s Rodeo Drive!’ I called Marco,” Bottura told WSJ Magazine. “I said, ‘Listen, think about these three incredible places — Piazza della Signoria, Rodeo Drive, and maybe Ginza — the most amazing addresses you could have.’ He said, ‘OK’.”

Gucci Restaurant LA


Danilo Scarpati for WSJ. Magazine


The Beverly Hills outpost will serve food with more American influences and have an aesthetic less Italian than that of the Osteria in Florence, Michele told WSJ Magazine. The idea is for the space to be much more open, with the lightness and colors reflecting more of the LA vibe. Bizzarri told the magazine that the food will come from California, with a menu that is more vegetarian and has more fish thanks to the proximity to the sea. 

“It’s more to give a hug to the United States people,” Michele said. “It reflects much more the Rodeo Drive attitude.”

Gucci Restaurant LA


Danilo Scarpati for WSJ. Magazine


Bottura told the magazine that the trio does plan to open another Gucci Osteria in Ginza, Tokyo, though it will “probably be the last one” that they do.

“Of the four greatest cuisines in the world, French and Chinese are similar — sauces, ingredients, technique — and Japanese and Italian are similar — obsession about the quality of the ingredients and technique just to let the ingredients express themselves,” Bottura said. “That’s the philosophy.”

The new restaurants are just the latest step in Gucci’s success story. As previously reported by Business Insider, Gucci was 2019’s fastest growing luxury brand, per marketing consulting company Interbrand, with a brand valuation of $15.9 billion. In 2018, the brand made over $9 billion in revenue, which boosted parent company Kering’s earnings to about $16.4 billion, Wall Street Journal Magazine reported

This interview is featured in WSJ Magazine’s March Issue, out on newsstands February 15. 



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