Who is she? New restaurateur taking over Highland Park French restaurant [updated]


Storefront ReportHIGHLAND PARK —  Restaurant Ba opened up four years ago as York Boulevard was beginning to attract new upscale restaurants, bars and shops. But earlier this month, the restaurant that served up French country classics closed for good. A notice posted on the restaurant website said that owners James Graham and Julia Latané were “moving on to start new projects ” and turning over the corner space “to a colleague who we admire very much and we look forward to seeing what she does with this space.”  Who is that colleague?

Update: Vivian Ku of Pine & Crane restaurant said she is taking over the space. She provided details in a press release:

“A new Taiwanese concept by the Pine & Crane team is set to open in the former Ba space in Highland Park. Owner Vivian Ku is excited to share authentic Taiwanese fare at this fast-casual neighborhood venue.

This new location (name tbd) is inspired by all the traditional, small food venues throughout Taiwan, many of them often featuring a very limited, quick-serve menu. Expect the menu to be completely different from Pine & Crane, with more focus placed on scallion bread, buns, soups, and small grab and go dishes.

Reminiscent of and consistent with experiences in Taiwan, most of the items will be wrapped in paper and very affordable, with the average check coming in at around $10. Drink selections include beer and premium house made teas.

“The decision to open in Highland Park felt right to us,” Ku says. “Silver Lake has treated us so well and we have really embraced being a neighborhood spot. To us, this means serving delicious food in a comfortable setting, with friendly service at an affordable price point. For selfish reasons, I also just enjoy living on the East side of town and want to get to work easily.”

This unnamed location has an anticipated opening date in early January of 2017. Counter service will be offered six days a week starting at 12pm and continuing until 11pm weeknights, and until midnight Fridays and Saturdays.”

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  1. People actually ate there? every time I walked by it was empty!

  2. What’s up with Elsa’s Bakery next door? Could they be merging the two spaces???

  3. The new owners are current owners at Pine & Crane in Silver Lake. A Taiwanese/Chinese restaurant. Unsure about their menu, but I wouldn’t doubt they’d keep the same style of food there too. Btw Elsa’s is being remodeled and work permits are still pending so they’ll be closed for a little longer

  4. wooohooo. I love Pine and Crane! We really liked Ba too though:(

  5. Ba was really very good and I’ll miss them.

  6. Ba was great – brunch and dinner were standouts. I loved the small restaurant feel and attention. Recess down the street is a bigger place – bigger concept – but I liked the constant changes and intimacy of Ba. Plus that back patio somehow WORKED despite it’s size/composition/location.

    Sad about Ba, but excited for something new – the released statement seems like it was more amicable than a lot of restaurant closings so hopefully everyone is happy with the deal

  7. The Ba owners refused to offer any vegan menu items so my family was never able to eat there. When I asked if anything on the menu could be made vegan the response was kinda hostile. You gotta know your audience in HP!! Kitchen Mouse (vegetarian) always has a line out the door!

  8. I hope Pine & Crane will have a lot of vegetarian and vegan choices.

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