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South LA’s Upcoming Brewery Signals a Black-Owned Craft Beer Boom

Plus, Long Beach extends outdoor dining ordinance, dining on the beach in Catalina, and Mexican Independence pastries

South Los Angeles Beverage Company founders Craig Bowers and Samuel Chawinga
South Los Angeles Beverage Company founders Craig Bowers and Samuel Chawinga
Andrew Yinn
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

South LA could be in the midst of a Black-owned brewery boom in 2021. The forthcoming South Los Angeles Beverage Company will debut its tasting room and business incubator, as well as a production and packaging facility in LA next year. Barring any coronavirus-related delays, South Los Angeles Beverage Company will be the second Black-owned brewery in South LA, joining Crowns & Hops, which plans to open in Inglewood.

South Los Angeles Beverage Company will produce beer, cider, wine, and coffee out of its 24,000 square foot facility. Founders Craig Bowers and Samuel Chawinga designed a tasting room where most of its seating is outdoors. There’s also enough space for food vendors to setup shop, too.

The future brewery is a tenant of the SoLa Impact’s Beehive development on 60th Street near Slauson and Central Avenues. On September 26th, the brewery will launch its first beer label, People’s Republic of South Central (PRSC) with 100% of net proceeds benefiting charitable initiatives in South Central Los Angeles.

In other news:

—Long Beach’s City Council voted unanimously yesterday to extend street closures and outdoor dining expansions until the end of the year, according to the Press Telegram. There’s also movement to make these changes permanent.

—The Orange County Breeze reports that new dining options are available on Catalina Island, including protocols that allow restaurants to set up tables directly on the beach from 5 to 11 p.m., along with booths for quick pick-up between 8 and 10 p.m. Have a look at the full list of participating restaurants here.

—Benihana served Beni Yaki with a federal copyright infringement lawsuit on Monday. The suit alleges the LA food used truck names, slogans, and trademarks that could be mistaken for Benihana restaurants, including terms like “Benihana Done Better,” according to NBC Palm Springs.

Wehoville weighs in on the Centers For Disease Control study releases last week, which shared evidence that dining out increases exposure to COVID-19, even when sitting outdoors. WeHo officials expanded its outdoor dining program, also known as Out Zones, in recent weeks.

The Counter reports that California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) issued over $220,000 in fines to LA-based Overhill Farms on Wednesday. The Cal/OSHA fined the frozen food manufacturer for violating health and safety violations related to the coronavirus, and a similar fine to its labor contractor, Jobsource for failing to install barriers and implement procedures that separate workers by at least six feet. Cal/OSHA also cited the companies for not investigating over 20 employee infections and reporting one death.

—The wife and wife team who founded the Buñuelitas pop-up designed custom-colored wheels for Mexican Independence, which is today. Buñuelitas are a spin on the traditional buñuelos with fruit, ice cream, and sauces. Direct message Jaime and Lety Luna on Instagram for orders.