Interiors

Glance Inside Jessica Biel & Co.’s Kid-Friendly Restaurant Au Fudge

by Garrett Fleming

Jessica Biel, Estee Stanley, Kimberly Muller, Joey Gonzalez, Jonathan Rollo and Monica Saunders-Weinberg are reframing the “rules” of dining out with their new LA eatery, Au Fudge — and it’s all thanks to their unique focus on family. Since the early days of planning, it’s been the driving force behind every one of the group’s business decisions. The name was even appropriately born out of a very real familial moment. Co-mastermind Estee Stanley tells us that when she became a mother, she and her husband began saying “oh fudge” to help them refrain from using unsavory language around the house. “That’s how the name came to be, but with a Français twist: Au Fudge,” she says.

With the name in place, the group began working alongside St. Frank and other makers to create the whimsical and cozy space Jessica Biel and her companions envisioned. In one of the space’s more lively spots, an arcade flashes and blinks. It beckons children and the inner-kid in all visitors to play some games while the dinner table is set. With the high score beat, guests are then ushered into the dining hall where vintage finishes, soft lighting, communal farm tables and the smell of a well-cooked meal evoke the warmth of home.

Of course, kids are always welcome inside the dining room, but parents will find it challenging to drag their little ones away from Au Fudge’s adorably-decorated Creative Space. Led by Au Fudge’s Au Pairs, this area of the restaurant offers all of the books, games and artistic and musical activities that a kid could hope for. Set at the back of the room and atop the space’s secret, golden staircase is perhaps my favorite aspect of Au Fudge: the textile-rich treehouse. Comfy St. Frank pillows, a neon-tassled chandelier and windows that let in brilliant sunlight make it the must-see feature of the restaurant. And that’s saying something, as the entire space is designed to a T. Click through to soak it all in. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Justin Coit & Leila Brewster

Glance Inside Jessica Biel & Co.'s Kid-Friendly Restaurant Au Fudge, Design*Sponge
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Au Fudge's masterminds Jessica Biel, Estee Stanley, Kimberly Muller, Joey Gonzalez, Jonathan Rollo and Monica Saunders-Weinberg (not pictured) collaborated to create this fun restaurant. They tell us the most challenging part of opening Au Fudge has been "providing something unique, different and better." They've certainly done that with their family-first concept.
Glance Inside Jessica Biel & Co.'s Kid-Friendly Restaurant Au Fudge, Design*Sponge
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Decorations that resemble those in a well-loved and welcoming family home were the only ones that made the cut. Jessica Biel sums up the space's look in three words: "Whimsical, cozy (and) elegant.”
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"Equal parts magical, sustainable and inspiring," the space is a mixture of vintage and reclaimed pieces and aims to offer families a fun way to connect over a nice -- yet not too fancy -- meal.
Glance Inside Jessica Biel & Co.'s Kid-Friendly Restaurant Au Fudge, Design*Sponge
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The patio is always primed and ready for LA sunshine thanks to these retro, beach-inspired umbrellas.
Glance Inside Jessica Biel & Co.'s Kid-Friendly Restaurant Au Fudge, Design*Sponge
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The dining room at Au Fudge is accompanied by this adorable shop where you can browse artisanal gifts, coffee, take-out meals and more.
Glance Inside Jessica Biel & Co.'s Kid-Friendly Restaurant Au Fudge, Design*Sponge
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At the back of the restaurant sits an arcade. Not just for kids, the space is perfect for fun, mid-meal breaks.
Glance Inside Jessica Biel & Co.'s Kid-Friendly Restaurant Au Fudge, Design*Sponge
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Kids are always welcome in the dining room. If they'd rather play with someone their own size though, they can head into Au Fudge's Creative Space and play games, make music and have fun under the watchful eyes of the Au Fudge Au Pairs.
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The Creative Space isn't only for lunch and dinner-time entertainment. Mommy and Me Pilates classes, slumber party movie nights and art workshops are just a few of the other events children can attend at Au Fudge. If they're lucky, they'll get to venture behind those double doors which lead to...
Glance Inside Jessica Biel & Co.'s Kid-Friendly Restaurant Au Fudge, Design*Sponge
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... a spiral staircase encased in gold. At the top of it sits the restaurant's treehouse.
Glance Inside Jessica Biel & Co.'s Kid-Friendly Restaurant Au Fudge, Design*Sponge
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Custom floor pillows in luxurious fabric from St. Frank give the treehouse a cozy vibe perfect for reading and lounging.
Glance Inside Jessica Biel & Co.'s Kid-Friendly Restaurant Au Fudge, Design*Sponge
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The treehouse's whimsical chandelier.

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