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Church & State Is Very Closed Right Now, Despite Ownership Saying Otherwise

Restaurant ownership was waffling about their “last night of service”

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.

Despite a bit of confusing back and forth, it sure looks like Church & State in the Arts District is all the way closed up. What’s next for the once-popular restaurant space is still anyone’s guess though.

It’s been a weird few days for the onetime Arts District staple and its fans. First, owners Yassmin Sarmadi and chef Tony Esnault sent out an email blast thanking diners for “ten wonderful years” as they announced “our last nights of service,” which were to take place over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of last week. Then, Sarmadi and Esnault walked back that language, saying only that they would be leaving the restaurant, and that Church & State would continue on under new ownership.

However, when pressed by Eater, the pair would not say who the new owners were, or whether or not said ownership really did have plans to continue on with Church & State as is, uninterrupted. They did speak on the record to the LA Times eventually, saying more definitively “we’re not closing,” despite the newsletter from before and a lack of any new operator information moving forward.

So where does Church & State stand now? It’s closed. The restaurant has had construction crews in and out all weekend, and instead of being open for service last night, as stated on the website and voicemail, the dining room is piled high with bistro chairs and tools. Workers grinding away at the kitchen in the back confirmed that the restaurant is closed until further notice, as they’re “remodeling” with plans to turn the restaurant space into something new, though they couldn’t say exactly what. There are no available future reservations for Church & State online, either; in fact, the company’s entire website has been down since Monday.

Interestingly enough, no new operator has yet stepped forward to announce themselves, and the old Church & State ABC license has not been transferred to a new owner, either. Got more info on the restaurant’s future? Hit the tip line, anonymity guaranteed.

Church & State. 1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles, CA.