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Dean & Deluca Scraps LA Expansion Plans as Company Falls Into Massive Debt

The upscale grocer was plotting for multiple locations across Los Angeles, including Melrose and Malibu

Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented By Coca-Cola - Late Night Adventures in Dean & DeLuca hosted by Hannah Bronfman and Gail Simmons
Inside Dean & Deluca in New York City
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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.

Beleaguered upscale grocer chain Dean & Deluca has been closing locations left and right, trying to solve a corporate cash flow problem that threatens to sink the entire company. So what does that mean for Los Angeles? No Dean & Deluca locations any time soon to Southern California, unfortunately.

For years now, Dean & Deluca has been threatening to saturate greater Los Angeles with locations. On paper the confluence of high-end grocery goods and cafe vibes, mixed into some of LA’s wealthier enclaves, certainly seemed like a good fit, even after a Thai luxury real estate firm named Pace Development bought the company for $140 million back in 2014. But now, with Pace having problems paying its bills — including possible defaults on payments to some of Dean & Deluca’s biggest bespoke partners like Amy’s Cookies — the company has pulled back to all but a handful of locations, even closing their San Francisco outlet this month.

Reps for Dean & Deluca have confirmed that the company will no longer operate in Malibu or on Melrose Avenue, two splashy outlets that the company felt would help endear the brand to the city. The latter was planned as a kind of West Coast flagship, next to Urth Caffe and the incoming Bottega Louie, which itself has been in the works since 2016.

Meanwhile, Dean & Deluca’s business still seems rather shaky, and it’s unclear if it will find its footing and continue for years to come, or fold altogether. Meanwhile Los Angeles continues to operate a slew of its own local upscale grocery and dining chains, including Erewhon, which is still on the expansion path with an upcoming location slated for Silver Lake.