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L.A. Eating places Shuttered at an Alarming Price This 12 months. Right here’s Why.

L.A. Eating places Shuttered at an Alarming Price This 12 months. Right here’s Why.

This year, one of the more unfortunate trends in the culinary industry was the closing of restaurants—across the country and in Los Angeles particularly.

The California city saw numerous establishments shutter in 2023, with both smaller, more casual restaurants and fine-dining spots feeling the squeeze, SF Gate reported on Wednesday. While the reasons for each individual closure vary, it was a difficult year in many ways, thanks to the strikes in Hollywood, the rising costs of food and labor, and downstream effects from the pandemic.

“I think it’s been the worst year and that this is just the scraping of the surface,” said Kristen Ciccolella, the owner of the Anchor in Venice, which will close this weekend after nine years. “I think there’s going to be a mass exodus by March, if places even survive January. It’s brutal out there.”

While many restaurants have closed over the past few years, thanks in large part to the pandemic, this year has seen added challenges. As has been documented, prices for everything are going up, and when restaurants must pay more for ingredients, labor, and other necessities, the cost of operating can become unfeasible. That’s especially true now, as extra money from aid like the Paycheck Protection Program and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund has dried up.

On top of that, the actors’ and writers’ strikes have dealt a huge blow to a city that’s heavily dependent on the entertainment industry. Restaurants used to be able to plan on business from studios, whether that meant catering or execs stopping in at spots close to their offices.

“We always had a lot of support from Netflix at République,” Walter Manzke, a chef-owner of the restaurant, told SF Gate. “There would be someone there from the company every night, and that just stopped overnight.”

Manzke hasn’t had to close République, a big name in the L.A. culinary scene, but he and his wife, Margarita, recently shuttered their decade-old Petty Cash Taqueria and their more casual Sari Sari Store. Manzke explained that neither spot had been doing well financially coming into 2023, and this year was the final nail in the coffin.

With the Hollywood strikes having come to an end, it’s possible that some of that business returns in the new year. And even with all the closures, some restaurants have said that they’ll reinvent themselves in the future. That leaves room for at least some optimism.

“I don’t know that we’ve seen the worst of it, but I hope we have,” Manzke said.

Los Angeles diners likely share that sentiment.

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Source: Robb Report

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