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Industry Experts Predict LA Restaurant Headlines for 2021

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What happens in next year’s restaurant scene?

Street vendor on 6th and Bonnie Brae in Los Angeles
Street vendor on 6th and Bonnie Brae in Los Angeles
Wonho Frank Lee
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

2020 will be the year that upended the restaurant industry. It’s difficult to talk about the year in review when everything changed, when people and businesses suffered during the pandemic. In light of the challenging year for everyone in Los Angeles, we asked food writers and industry folks for headline predictions for 2021.

Mona Holmes, Eater LA Reporter

The Percentage of Corporate-Owned Restaurants in LA Surges by 50%

LA’s Beloved Street Vendors Are Back at It

LA’s Deep Bench of Talented Bartenders Have Left The Industry Altogether

Danielle Dorsey, LA editor, Thrillist

These might be more hopeful than predictive:

“City of LA Dramatically Slashes LAPD Budget”

Esther Tseng, freelance writer

RESTAURANTS Act Passed Thanks to Flipped Senate Amid Georgia Run-Offs ,

Millions of Restaurant Jobs Still Haven’t Returned,

Undocumented Restaurant Workers Still Face Food Insecurity

(I tried to include one positive headline!)

Jim Thurman, freelance writer

Sadly, more closures from the pandemic and its aftermath. The closest thing to a positive will come from more inventive and creative takeout/pickup options.

Farley Elliott, Eater LA senior editor

Small Footprint: How LA’s Unused Restaurant Nooks Are Leading the Next Wave of Micro-Restaurants

A New Round of Federal Restaurant Support Is Here, But It’s Still Not Enough

As LA Returns to ‘Normal,’ The City’s Street Vendors Continue to Be Left Out of the Discussion

Oren Peleg, Eater LA contributor, freelance writer

A return to intensely social interactions and extravagance. We miss each other, we miss being around strangers, we miss the energy of a packed room. There are going to be so many parties and crowds and celebrations of life. L’CHAIM!

Euno Lee, Eater LA writer

Prognosticating about headlines for an industry that is essentially facing an apocalypse seems, at least to me, to be in especially poor taste.

Hadley Tomicki, L.A. Taco

“McDonald’s star Grimace found dead at 49 at Bel-Air TikTok mansion.”

Matthew Kang, Eater LA editor

LA Street Food Given UNESCO World Heritage Award for Feeding Angelenos Through Pandemic