STUDIO CITY, CA — The Bistro Garden at Coldwater, a longtime establishment known for its fine dining, chocolate soufflés and a "garden" atmosphere that often served as a Hollywood backdrop, is closing after 30 years in Studio City, owners announced Tuesday.
"Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertain future of the restaurant industry, it is with great sorrow and emotional upheaval that after 30 years, The Bistro Garden at Coldwater will be closing," the Niklas and Pappas families said in a joint statement.
"Thank you to the many customers who have supported us over the years," they said on Facebook. "We will miss you dearly and the wonderful times we shared during weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, showers, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays or just a simple meal 'in the garden.' It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you."
Along with serving as a classy setting for family celebrations, Bistro Garden, with its airy, European-garden vibe and distinctive arched windows, also served celebrity clientele over the years and racked up ample screen time as a filming locale for television and movies.
It was the restaurant where Michael Scott (Steve Carell) hosted a birthday lunch for Pam’s mom on "The Office," where Jennifer Garner confronted her married boyfriend in "Valentine's Day," where Gabrielle Solis inaccurately heard Carlos died on "Desperate Housewives" and, most recently, where co-stars Christian Slater and Amanda Peet dined in "Dirty John Season 2: The Betty Broderick Story."
The original Bistro was opened nearly six decades ago in Beverly Hills by German immigrant Kurt Niklas. His daughter-turned-restaurateur, Carolyn Niklas Pappas, told Patch in 2010 that her father adamantly maintained his elegant, classic cuisine, even flying in chefs from Europe, including Chef Roget from the Hotel Esplanade in Vienna, who came to create the chocolate soufflé — a dessert often copied, but never perfected, at numerous eateries.
The Bistro Garden relocated in 1990 to its current location at Coldwater and Ventura boulevards in the San Fernando Valley, bringing with it in the move, along with longtime chefs and wait staff, some props and artwork from the Billy Wilder film, "Irma La Douce."
Carolyn said her father was so taken with the movie-set design and how it fit his vision for his restaurant's winter-garden-glam feel, Wilder, a Bistro regular, invited Niklas to visit the film's prop room and pick whatever he wanted.
Now that the eatery's era is coming to a close, the owners, Greg and Carolyn Pappas, Christina Pappas Breidenbach and the Niklas family, wished the best to the community during "this devastating pandemic," noting that if a new restaurant or catering services are in their future, they will let the public know.
And with a nod to one of Bistro Garden's famous patrons, they added: "As one of our late dear customers was fond of singing … 'Thanks for the memories!'”
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