MainRo, Hollywood’s newest hotspot is quite a sight to behold. Both a restaurant and supper club, it provides a true experience that Los Angeles hasn’t seen in a very long time. Located at 6350 Hollywood Boulevard, the 7500 square foot space is divided between the main floor and mezzanine which is located above the stage and DJ booth.
The creation of restaurateur Romain Zago, who is best known for his Miami venues Mynt and Mynt-Tu along with Italian architect Gianni Ranaulo, seamlessly blends design, food, and theater (yes, theater) in a truly unparalleled way. Zago tells me, “The concept of MainRo was blending my personal taste along with ideas into a world of innovations and technology while learning from my years of teachings in the nightlife and hospitality industry. With water being the focal point of the venue (where the letter O is synonymous to water in French) we envisioned a suspended O encasing the stage and Broadway-style stairs.”
However, as with most major restaurants opening in 2022, it hasn’t come without challenges. “The project was [conceived] in early 2019 and was scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020 before the pandemic hit. The hospitality industry was one of the industries that hit the hardest. Many places shuttered and really turned our world upside down, not to mention adding a couple of years of delays to our vision for the supper club.”
Then manufacturing delays caused further setbacks. “Most of our technology was being manufactured and shipped from overseas. The engineering labor was also based overseas, but as the world shut down, we had to improvise and continue to build out the space with local engineers and work via Zoom to put all the electronic puzzles together. The true challenge was being able to find labor capable of building such articulate and complex design elements into the space.”
Another view of MainRo
Walking into MainRo feels like stepping into a restaurant in Vegas populated with people from Miami. It’s vast, striking, and unlike anything Los Angeles has seen in quite a while. After such a long shutdown, it’s a respite that’s much needed in Hollywood. “MainRo is a concept merging the highlights of our venues in Miami, Mynt, and Myn-Tu. We perfectly blend the restaurant and nightlife scene into one single venue as the premier destination for dinner and an evening out on the town,” says Zago.
While there are classic Hollywood Regency elements such as lush velvet chairs, booths and an art deco style bar, it’s the space above that catches the eye. “Technology is at the forefront of MainRo. Everything from our sixteen triangle-shaped chandeliers, walls, and the stage are outfitted with ultra 4K digital mapped screens. We can set the tone and change the ambiance from dinner to nightlife in a matter of seconds, going from a candle-lit dinner to a futuristic feeling that will take you into the night. We are creating a modern and technological version of the Moulin Rouge, but the difference is that you are the star and the show is happening in front, behind, and all around you,” explains the restauranteur.
However, Moulin Rouge was not the only Hollywood production that inspired the design of MainRo. “My adoration for films like Harry Potter and Stargate helped me envision tridimensional screens constructed of LEDs in the form of droplets of water on both walls.”
Shows can start at any time, whether it’s a DJ playing music or acrobats performing on hoops.
The bar at MainRo
While the immense screens rotate a variety of content, they also have the capability of broadcasting the various parties from Zago’s Miami venues. “We have the capability of not only transmitting in Miami Live including the music, but we’re also showcasing in Miami what goes on in LA,” says Zago. “I always dreamed of doing a Hollywood countdown in Miami. So when it’s 3:00 am in Miami, it’s going to be midnight here in LA.”
It’s all a part of the experience. As the content and soundtrack change, so does the vibe of the space. Zago believes he is pioneering this trend and is anticipating copycats.
Still, even with technology at the forefront, MainRo maintains a sophisticated albeit futuristic ambiance. “I believe if tastefully designed correctly, technology can be an imperative tool to develop a new, interesting, somewhat magical experience in restaurants. MainRo is one step ahead, in the future of restaurant design, yet we still preserve the integrity of core values of restaurants,” explains Zago.
Food as art
With a menu that features French, Japanese, and Vietnamese flavors, presentation is a key part of the experience. Patrons will immediately notice the Bernardaud Organza dinnerware on each table. The clean and minimalist design of these plates provides a pop of bright color and a grounding contrast to the spectacle. Zago tells me, “The food follows the magic of the venue and is defined by a simple, yet sophisticated presentation. We put time and effort into how our food is presented, so not only do our guests have a memorable experience with the venue but the culinary journey during their visit.”
Another part of the experience is the availability of Dom Perignon’s highly coveted Luminous label champagne bottles. The presentation of these glowing bottles is a show in itself. “We’re very lucky to have a very large inventory. Of course, it’s all about lights and special LEDs, right?,” says Zago. “As long as it’s classy and not too flashy, we’re good.”