Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson’s Locol is closing for a few weeks, with plans to offer a revamped look and feel in early 2018. The temporary hiatus will affect both the Oakland bakery space, and the Watts restaurant.
In a post sent across social media from earlier this week, the Locol team says they’ll be using the intervening weeks to start “making adjustments, improvements, and tweaks to our stores.” They also note that the two-year-old company started with “no blueprint to follow,” so they’re going to be taking a lot of the lessons they’ve learned in that time and using them to focus their efforts now. The full message is below.
It’s unclear exactly what those changes will ultimately look like for the end consumer, but Choi and Patterson have been tinkering with their Locol model in small (and large) ways since basically day one. The place has certainly in some ways been a rollercoaster, going from being named the first-ever Los Angeles Times restaurant of the year by Jonathan Gold (for its Watts location) to closing their first full Oakland location following a zero-star review by New York Times critic Pete Wells.
Choi and Patterson have spoken honestly about their issues with getting Locol into the hearts, minds, and stomaches of the communities they seek to serve — let alone battling larger fast food brands in the process. It hasn’t been easy for either star chef, but they remain committed to ultimately continuing to grow the Locol universe. As for the localized reopening in Watts, expect something on or just before MLK day 2018 (that’s January 15), which would mark the two year anniversary of their first opening.