Each fall, the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce travels to New York City to attract unique new businesses and foster relationships with existing businesses. The October 2021 was made by Chamber President and CEO Todd Johnson, accompanied by Mayor Bob Wunderlich, Vice Mayor Lili Bosse, Councilmember Lester Friedman, Chamber Board Chairman Giorgio Cyphaeus Sease, Chamber Vice President of Economic Development and Government Affairs Blair Schlecter, City Manager George Chavez, and City Marketing and Economic Sustainability Manager, Laura Biery.
The group met with world class restaurants and retail stores including Showfields (experiential retail), Cote (Korean steakhouse), MARKZ Hospitality Inc., Dante (Italian cafe), Unapologetic Food Group (Indian restaurant) Boucherie (French bistro), American Bar (continental cuisine), Motorino (Italian pizzeria), Breads Bakery, Aux Merveilleux de Fed (French bakery) Alta Marea Group (Italian cuisine), Black Seed Bagels, Le Bilboquet (French restaurant), St. Tropez (French cafe) and Casa Nela Hospitality Group (Italian cuisine).
I think it’s really about building and developing relationships,” Todd Johnson told the Courier. “But we have developed and worked with some of these folks for several years now. For instance, I had first met with Danny Meyer’s 11 years ago about Shake Shack. And at the time, he had no interest in going outside of the state of New York.”
The delegation met with the Dinex Group to welcome the Michelin starred French restaurant, DANIEL, helmed by Chef Daniel Boulud. The popular Upper East Side restaurant will open at 9200 Wilshire Blvd., where the Mandarin Oriental residences will be.
“We met with two other restaurants that are really close to signing deals,” Johnson told the Courier. “I can’t say their names, but they’re both Michelin starred and they’re actually both looking at sites on Camden Drive, so that street would all of a sudden come alive.”
“We need to bring casual dining restaurants in our city,” Johnson told the Courier. “Not everyone is going to be able to go to Avra, or Spago, or Nusr-Et and all these places. I think a really good bagel place like Breads Bakery or Black Seed Bagels would just really do well.”
Business retention meetings were held with Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), Ralph Lauren, Hudson’s Bay Company, the Richemont Group, Kering, Saint Laurent, David Yurman and SHVO (Beverly Hills developer).
According to Johnson, Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), the holding company for luxury department store, Saks Fifth Avenue, has big plans for Wilshire Boulevard, taking over the stretch from Camden to Roxbury. “They want to end up putting all their men’s and women’s into the old Barney’s,” Johnson said. HBC is looking at potentially adding mixed-use living units, a hotel, and a walkway in the back with greenspace. “They’re moving forward on that.”
“The Bouchon space has been filled by Craig’s in West Hollywood, but I think they’re going to call it Tommy’s,” Johnson told the Courier. “Tommy was the maître d’ with a huge following, so he’s counting that people will come over there and see him, so that’s exciting.”
With businesses on Rodeo Drive reporting a significant increase in revenue from 2019, Johnson noted that “people are generally pretty optimistic about how the business climate in city is going.”