The switcheroo of Jimmy Love's into Florent Restaurant & Lounge is nearly complete; the 8,000-foot-space is due to soft open on June 18 in the Gaslamp.
Eater readers asked us for a status update on the restaurant, which will have a capacity of 300 on two levels, so here's what we know so far. The street level will have two large bars, featuring a craft cocktail menu from Juan Sanchez (JRDN), and a main brasserie-like dining room with a mix of banquette and lounge seating. On one side of the room there are two huge circular booths that each hold a cluster of tables; once dining is done for the evening, some tables will be replaced by a stage, where Florent intends to use for live music, DJ's and dancing. In the long history of the 19th century building, it has been both a bank and a jail; downstairs, a formerly inactive space will now hold a glassed-in area with a bar, more booths and room for a DJ. It'll function as a nightlife space, with bottle service, and host private events.
Chef/partner Rich Sweeney (R Gang Eatery), who will be residing in the kitchen, shared a first peek at his nearly-final dinner menu, which the chef says will encourage "social dining" with shareable dishes that range from cold plates (Meyer lemon panna cotta and asparagus salad) to warm plates (ricotta dumplings with butter poached lobster and mains (mac and cheese, duck confit) and includes a few Cajun/Creole-inspired dishes, from hushpuppies and boudin blanc to a risotto that has all the elements of jambalaya; also on tap is lunch service and Sunday brunch.