Last week, signs were posted on Denny’s windows located at 888 S Figueroa stating that the restaurant was closed “due to kitchen renovations.” Basically, anytime restaurants put up signs like that, it means they have shuttered and/or changed ownership. A call to building management didn’t reveal much about what the future plans are, but we can safely assume that the space will now be marketed to a higher-end culinary concept. I wouldn’t be surprised if another restaurant has already been earmarked for the space, reducing vacancy time and loss on rent.
As the Downtown LA momentum marches forward, countless restaurants have been scouring the area from the Arts District to South Park. Many end up not finding a suitable location and remain “locked out” of the downtown market due to a lack of attractive spaces even though they really want to be here.
Second generation restaurant spaces — like this Denny’s that have all the relevant kitchen infrastructure — are extremely attractive to new restaurants looking for spaces with the least amount of work possible, like the financially arduous process of putting in a new venting system, grease interceptor, or getting a CUP that can take many, many months.
Given Denny’s prime location on Figueroa across from Soleto and the new Smart & Final Extra grocery store and between LA Live and FIGat7th (home to LA’s future flagship Zara and H&M stores), it was only a matter of time that Denny’s would be saying bye bye.
For those who lament Denny’s departure, the IHOP around the corner at 8th and Flower is still a good and, in my opinion, better alternative.