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Despite Rumor, Bakersfield’s Historic Woolworth Luncheonette Isn’t Closing

Plus, Oktoberfest is starting, and a big collaboration from some of LA’s best Thai chefs

A daytime sign for a vintage Woolworth’s store that has been converted to an antique store.
The Woolworth’s sign in Bakersfield.
Farley Elliott

Have no fear, Bakersfield’s still-untouched Woolworth luncheonette is not closing any time soon. Over the long holiday weekend, historian and noted lover of all-things-vintage Charles Phoenix posted to his nearly 65,000 Instagram followers that the iconic diner, opened since 1950, would be likely closing permanently — but thankfully, that’s not the case.

Per multiple news outlets like KGET, the original five and dime store where Woolworth’s resides has been purchased by a local financial advising firm, but that only means that the multi-story antique mall that used to take up most of the space is vacating. Reps for the buyers say that the luncheonette counter will remain open and untouched long-term (in part to save on having to make loads of upgrades to the place), but it’s possible the diner space inside the building could have its hours truncated temporarily amid the changeover and renovations elsewhere in the historic building. Otherwise, expect the usual array of Woolworth’s fare to continue, hopefully for decades to come.

In other news:

  • Hot chicken specialist Bangin’ Buns opens at 12154 Artesia Boulevard in Artesia today, with opening hours from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Stop by, and you’ll even be entered into a contest to win a PS5 video game console.
  • One of LA’s best pop-up barbecue operators, Herc’s Barbecue out of Covina, is hosting another day of meat and drinks with Nova Brewing Company this Saturday, September 11.
  • Celebrated chefs from Ayara Thai, Otus Thai, and elsewhere (including chef Tam Debhakam, Top Chef Thailand’s season one winner) are collaborating on two nights of dinners and drinks at Ayara Thai in Westchester. The ticketed meals run $170 per person and feature six courses plus drinks and dessert.
  • Long Beach is readying for its first-ever Oktoberfest celebration, running over multiple days in late October. Tickets are $20; food and drink are extra. Meanwhile, Rasselbock Long Beach, Rasselbock Mar Vista, and Wirtshaus on La Brea (all one restaurant group) are starting Oktoberfest early, with first kegs being tapped on September 18. Those parties, which include costume contests, stein-holding competitions, and live music, run through October 30.
  • Severance at the Palihotel is celebrating three years of business on Friday, September 10 with all-night deals like $30 bottles of wine, $10 cocktails, and $6 glasses of rosé.
  • Ospi is now open for lunch in Venice, working a broad menu that includes pasta, meatballs, fried mozzarella, sandwiches, and more. The menu is below, and hours run 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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