Despite the day one crowds and lots of Cronut® love on social media over the years, it seems that Dominique Ansel’s three-year-old bakery and upstairs restaurant 189 at the Grove will not reopen, marking yet another pandemic-related closure around Los Angeles. While the news is not entirely unexpected, given the shutdown at the mega-popular outdoor mall — and the fact that Curtis Stone is already known to be taking over the space for a months-long pop-up with the team from his restaurant Gwen — it is still something of a shock, given how popular the company is globally.
Dominique Ansel is one of the most well-known pastry chefs in the world, having made a name for himself and his team by crafting thoughtful, fun, and flavorful pastries and desserts at bakeries in New York City and, later, in Tokyo. The Cronut® in particular, a blend of doughnut and croissant technique and dough, has earned legend status in some food circles, leading to hours-long lines for years in NYC, and to many inevitable knock-offs. Ansel recently closed his London bakery as well as a result of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
Reps for Ansel’s team have confirmed that they are not planning to reopen in Los Angeles at all, meaning there is no new location or future reopening of any kind on the books for 2021 or beyond. Instead, Ansel’s downstairs bakery at the Grove and upstairs restaurant space will act as patio seating and takeaway space for a Curtis Stone project called Picnic Society, opening on September 14.
In a goodbye note shared on social media, Ansel says the restaurant formally threw in the towel “a few weeks ago,” adding:
We now join the list of Covid casualties, alongside our well-respected peers in the industry. It’s ironic to close when our last memories were of the lines every weekend and nights full of proposals, tree lightings, and blow out finale parties... LA wasn’t always easy, as we set our bar as high as we could reach, but it was always exciting. And of all the things I’ll miss, most of all I’ll miss our team. A group of co-dreamers - who believed in what we did and put in the work to make it come true.
Dominique Ansel Bakery and 189 join the ranks of countless other prominent shutters these past few months, including Trois Mec and Patina and Ma’am Sir and Broken Spanish and Baco Mercat. Just in Koreatown alone, genre-defining spots like Dong Il Jang, Jun Won, Here’s Looking at You, and now Beverly Soon Tofu have all shuttered recently, each as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With COVID-19 cases still high in Los Angeles County, and without some level of state and/or federal financial intervention, it is almost certain that many more prominent restaurants will join these closed spots in the coming months.