One of the most unique commercial retail spaces in all of Los Angeles is getting a new business. Many people still don’t know this, but there is only one subway station in all of LA that has an actual retail space located within the station. As an ardent pedestrian and transit advocate, I am super excited to report that the 7th Street/Metro Center station (the busiest in LA), located in the very heart of Downtown LA’s bustling Financial District, is getting a brand new Dunkin’ Donuts shop!
Over the years, this unique retail space located near the Hope Street entrance of the 7th Street/Metro station (and underneath the 17-story 655 Hope condo tower) has gone through a few different businesses. The last and most recent one was a Wetzel’s Pretzels that was in business for about four years before closing last year. (Click here for pics from the grand opening in 2013.)
According to the Dunkin’ Donuts local franchise owner, Aharon A., the lease was recently signed within the last two weeks. The new Dunkin’ will take over the diminutive space giving it a much needed fresh new look after years of wear and tear. Although the space is small, this will be a full line Dunkin’ that will offer their signature donuts in addition to coffee. The space is currently in store planning and design and will be submitted to the city for approval in February. If all goes smoothly, it’ll open by fall of this year becoming the second downtown location with the first one opening in 2016 at 8th and Olive. The hours will likely be from 5 am to 10 pm.
You may remember almost seven years ago, DTLA Rising reported that Rush Snack Bar opened in the 7th Street/Metro Center station at a time when the rest of Los Angeles was freaking out about the shutdown of the 405 freeway (aka “Carmageddon“). For me, as an Angeleno who was yearning for a pedestrian-oriented city, it was an interesting moment in LA’s history to observe the dichotomy between the Westside’s utter dependence on automobiles and the vastly different world across town in Downtown LA where the opening of a seemingly insignificant small snack shop in a subway station (that few Angelenos even knew about) actually symbolized a much greater new direction for Los Angeles. A city that was once heavily criticized, and quite frankly, despised for lacking a true urban center is finally gaining a real downtown.