Making Food & Making Places: The Changing Economics of Restaurants in L.A.

Friday, October 20, 2017

From street food to five-star dining, Los Angeles prides itself on its cuisine. But restaurants are not mere amenities. They are integral elements of the city's culture, important sources of employment and opportunities for entrepreneurship, tenants for landlords, and crucial elements of the places that planners and developers envision when drafting their plans and designing communal spaces. Indeed, the intersection of food, people, and the public realm is one of the great delights of urban life. 

But these delights may be under threat. With rising rents, competition from delivery and home-cooking services, the new $15 minimum wage, and many other economic factors, many restaurants -- especially independent, mom-and-pop places -- are facing increased pressure. This month, WUF will investigate the economics of restaurants and discuss these threats, and consider the fate of placemaking in an age when planners might not be able to count on restaurants to "activate the street" and create "urban vibrancy" that their plans envision. 


Eddie Navarrette, FE Design & Consulting
Jamie Rogers, CBRE
Susan Healy Keene, Beverly Hills Community Development Director
Jesse Gomez, Founder, Cocinas y Calaveras (Mercado, Maradentro, Yxta Cocina restaurants)


Michael Dubin, Michael Dubin & Associates