By Sharon Knolle Posted January 22, 2008, 4:27 PM EST
Art Deco venue appreciators will have a new piece of downtown eye candy this year. The Valencia Group, a Los Angeles-based restaurant management group, is turning the historic Union Bank into the Union Restaurant & Lounge, which is expected to open this spring or summer. Kellefer Flamming Architects and Design plans to maintain the distinctive 1920s decor throughout. The ground floor will become a 10,000-square-foot, 200-seat restaurant, and the below-ground bank vault will transform into a lounge. Above-ground lounge spaces and dedicated event rooms will be available for corporate and private parties. The upper floors are slated to be converted to lofts.
Chef Jeffrey Nimer, from Lavande at the Loews in Santa Monica and several Miami restaurants, will lead the kitchen staff. (Nimer is also known for catering private parties for the likes of David Geffen). Bar manager Andrew Willett will create a drink menu of signature cocktails featuring fresh juices and house-made ingredients.