In a Los Angeles dining world that’s currently filled with a general mix of uncertainty and sadness, here’s one very bright silver lining: Swingers is back. The iconic diner, known for its late night bites, comfy booths, and Googie flourishes, closed early on in the pandemic after nearly three decades of service, but now a new owner has stepped up to return the place to prominence.
Incoming owner Stephanie Wilson should be a familiar face for any of the longtime regulars of the restaurant on Beverly Boulevard; she’s been the general manager for years, and has worked there in some capacity since 2011. When news of the closure first got out, Wilson sprung into action, collecting enough funds from regulars (including some unnamed, high-profile types) and her own friends and family to purchase the business and transfer the licensing from Committed, Inc., the Sean MacPherson-owned restaurant group. Now Wilson tells Eater that the plan is to open in just a few weeks’ time, possibly as soon as November 1.
The plan, upon reopening, is to run daily hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with outdoor seating available as well as takeout, and a menu of the same diner staples that Swingers has become so beloved for. Hopefully the restaurant can once again return to some semblance of late night dining as well, but Wilson says that will depend on public demand for longer hours and, eventually, on public health factors for dining inside once again.
Swingers, which closed in April, was an early rallying cry for those eager to save beloved neighborhood restaurants. Many Eater readers, longtime locals, and even tourists publicly mourned the loss of the late-night haunt on social media, even as other prominent places like Auburn and Bon Temps closed that very same month. Dozens of other restaurants have since departed the scene, and with no coronavirus vaccine or federal stimulus package in sight, it’s clear that many more closures are still to come. But at least in all the loss, LA is getting to take a shot at saving Swingers, one of the city’s true diner gems.