Eighteen-month old Venice restaurant Yours Truly has closed permanently, says chef and owner Vartan Abgaryan. The Abbot Kinney restaurant was meant to serve as Abgaryan’s first big Westside foray, after earning a name cooking at places like Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake and 71Above in Downtown. Yet despite Yours Truly’s early success, the ongoing pandemic has apparently taken a fatal turn for the restaurant.
“So thankful for this restaurant while it lasted,” Abgaryan said in an Instagram post last night. “I am not alone [in saying] that we are dealt [a] very unfair and tough hand,” he added, referring to the current struggles of restaurants everywhere. He noted that the shutdowns, reopenings, and lack of federal aid has forced owners to “play with our and our staff’s livelihoods” and health. Coronavirus cases have exploded across Los Angeles County in the past two weeks, leading to a looming shutdown of on-site outdoor dining at restaurants, and the possibility of an enforceable stay at home order from the LA County Board of Supervisors, just like back in March and April.
Restaurants and their workers have shouldered much of the burden of these pandemic uncertainties, from having to work around unmasked patrons just to make a living, to owners spending thousands on weather-ready outdoor dining setups that will now go unused. Many within the industry say that their businesses are not driving the rise in COVID-19 cases, and that the Department of Public Health has erred in forcing the closure of outdoor dining right before the holiday season.
Yours Truly has been closed for the duration of the pandemic, owing in part to its mostly-indoor footprint and ownership’s fear for the safety of workers, even as other prominent restaurants around the city reported positive coronavirus cases amongst workers throughout the summer. Agbaryan and partners Dave Reiss (Salt Air, A-Frame) and Paul Pruitt (New School consulting) have opened other spots since March, including Nueva in Venice and Post Script, a parking lot setup across the street from Yours Truly. Post Script has since also closed.
“I will miss all aspects of this restaurant and I hope I can recreate it one day again,” says Abgaryan in his closing notice, and he’s not alone. In the restaurant’s short year open it had garnered a fair bit of press and a loyal Westside following, even earning high marks from LA Times co-critic Patricia Escárcega, who said the restaurant was one of the more compelling new openings of 2019.