It is not easy to replace a legend, but sometimes it works out better than you think. This was the case with République, the new restaurant located inside the cavernous historic space that once housed LA mainstay Campanile. The Hollywood Gothic edifice was built in 1929 for Charlie Chaplin and then taken over in the 1980s by the longstanding Angeleno favorite.
In order to bring the space up to date, the owners, Walter and Margarita Manzke, and their architect, Osvaldo Maoizzi, actually brought it further back in time, highlighting the original building materials and elements—like arches, concrete and brick walls, and a fountain—while supplementing the design with period light fixtures and furniture. To make the space feel more intimate they broke it into smaller parts, and to add a contrasting touch they made the kitchens much more contemporary.
“My vision was to take the building and make it look more like it did when it was originally built,” said Walter Manzke. “We tried to put materials in that would’ve been used in that time period.” Adding a family touch, Manzke’s brother did the metalwork for the stools and his father stained the wooden seats.