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Another Big LA Craft Beer Brewery Is on the Verge of Closing

Plus, Mark Wahlberg pours drinks in Studio City this week, Din Tai Fung’s owner has died, and more

Border X Brewery Bell Los Angeles
Beers from Border X in Bell.
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Border X Brewing could be in trouble without a major cash infusion, reports L.A. Taco. The Latino-owned craft beer operation, “is in danger of closing its Southeast Los Angeles location in Bell without outside investment,” writes reporter Beth Demmon. The plan, owner David Favela says, is for a financial partner to take up to a 40 percent ownership stake in the company in order to keep the brewery afloat, after years of pandemic slowdowns and flagging sales. “COVID… tripped us up and we haven’t had the capital to recover from the disaster,” Favela tells L.A. Taco. The Border X location in Bell opened in March 2019.

The possible closure of Border X in Bell is just the latest in a series of tumultuous moments for the greater Los Angeles craft beer scene, which has had to face many difficult questions after a series of big-name closures earlier this year, including Strand Brewing in the South Bay. There are no clear answers for how to come out of debt and increase sales, operators say, though some have taken to diversifying their company’s offerings into restaurants and distilleries as a way to spread around risk and increase opportunities.

A pair of big losses

The founder of Din Tai Fung, Bing-Yi Yang, has died at 96, reports the Los Angeles Times and others. Yang founded the brand initially as a cooking oil shop back in 1958 in Taiwan, before growing into a full-fledged restaurant with a soup dumpling focus. The company now has nearly 200 restaurants across the globe, first entering the United States market via the San Gabriel Valley.

Meanwhile, KCRW’s Good Food has a retrospective on the life of 92-year-old Hank ‘Toto’ Kagawa of Glendale’s Fish King, who died earlier this March. Kagawa started the market and restaurant in 1952, eventually growing to become a true king of seafood for Northeast Los Angeles, thanks in part to his friendly service and amazing inventory.

A closure in West Hollywood

Georgetown Cupcake has quietly closed in Los Angeles, reports Eater DC. The growing national chain struggled to grow its brand on the West Coast and so, while facing new lease negotiations, decided to pull up stakes entirely instead.

Wine and dine in West Adams

Highly Likely in West Adams is hosting a winemaker dinner on Saturday, April 1, with drinks from Wavy Wine. Expect a family-style dinner from chef Kat Turner, with tickets running $85 via Tock.

An actor prepares — to bartend

Actor Mark Wahlberg is getting behind the bar at Roadside Taco in Studio City on Friday, March 31, pouring some of his Flecha Azul Tequila for fans who can manage to get in. The event, hosted alongside co-owner Aron Marquez, runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and projects to be rather busy.