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WeHo Strikes Down Proposal That Would Have Severely Limited Chain Restaurants

It wasn't very popular, turns out.

West Hollywood street with a rainbow painted in the crosswalk
West Hollywood
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

West Hollywood’s city council has decided to drop a controversial measure that would have limited the number and type of chain restaurants and stores capable of operating within its borders. Per Wehoville, the potential initiative was initially brought forth by two council members — John Duran and Lauren Meister — but drew a ton of negative criticism after it was widely reported.

The plan, it seems, was to limit the available chain options so as to protect the city-within-a-city’s independent-minded character and charm. Additionally, the pair argued, the move would help protect small business operators already working within the city, and could help grow business overall as more mom-and-pop vendors moved in to fill necessary voids, without siphoning their profits off to some faraway mega-headquarters.

Of course, this didn’t sit well with the Chamber of Commerce, local franchise owners, real estate developers, and anyone who enjoys the particular flavor of a mocha from Starbucks. It also, depending on the language of the proposal, could have jeopardized one of the biggest business developments coming to West Hollywood next year: Shake Shack.

Ultimately the offer was tabled amidst all the controversy, with Meister pulling the proposed legislation before it even received a vote.