Hungry for more emerging news about the long-awaited Academy Museum of Motion Pictures? On Monday, the museum revealed details and the name of its restaurant and cafe.
Fanny’s, supported by a donation from Wendy Stark, granddaughter of show business legend Fanny Brice, is being developed by restauranteurs Bill Chait and Carl Schuster in a new two-story space designed by Los Angeles-based Commune Design in the museum’s Saban Building. Additionally it was announced that Wolfgang Puck Catering will oversee all catering services at the museum, which opens to the public on September 30. Puck of course has a long history with the Motion Picture Academy as he has been catering the Governors Ball after the Academy Awards for the past 25 years.
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The late architect Osvaldo Maiozzi conceptualized the 10,000-square-foot restaurant space. Commune’s interior design blends contemporary style with Old Hollywood inspiration, as embodied by classic spaces like the Brown Derby and Perino’s, studio backlots, and the iconic 1939 Streamline Moderne architecture of the Saban Building, formerly a May Company department store.
As described by museum officials, “Fanny’s dining area features a mix of small group and communal tables and has a prepared foods market that leads into the main dining room with an art deco-style bar and lounge area that is punctuated by a series of curved booths. The industrial architecture of the Renzo Piano building is complimented by warm natural materials, including maple wall paneling, marble, zinc, and leather and mohair upholstery. The space features the work of local artists and artisans including custom light fixtures by Atelier de Troupe and Pojagi-inspired sheer curtain panels by textile artist Adam Pogue. Los Angeles artist and illustrator Konstantin Kakanias has been commissioned to create a spectacular wraparound mural for the main dining room celebrating film and music legends from classical Hollywood to present day.”
Academy Museum director Bill Kramer said, “As a museum dedicated to the art, history, and culture of the movies, we want to create spaces for discourse, reflection, and conversation. Our visitors will discover a full range of exceptional environments and experiences at the Academy Museum, including the opportunity to enjoy a meal or a drink at Fanny’s. We are deeply grateful to Wendy Stark for her generous support of this project and to Bill Chait, Carl Schuster, the team at Commune, and Konstantin Kakanias for their creativity and vision.”
Stark’s involvement brings another direct connection to the Oscars and the museum as the 1968 musical Funny Girl, based on the life of Brice, won Barbra Streisand a Best Actress Academy Award for her film debut and was produced by Ray Stark, Wendy’s father who was married to Fran, Brice’s daughter. It was a Best Picture nominee as well.
Fanny’s will seat 250 guests and be open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with brunch on the weekends. A private events facility and terrace seating 600 guests on the top floor of the museum also will be supported by Wolfgang Puck Catering.
Further details about Fanny’s, including the chef, program director and reservations, will be announced at a later date.