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SF’s Japantown and LA’s Downtown In Crisis

This week on Eater’s Digest, missives from two struggling dining communities

Outside Grand Central Market in Downtown LA.
Outside Grand Central Market in Downtown LA
Wonho Frank Lee

While restaurant owners and workers around the world struggle to contend with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, some dining communities are more vulnerable than others. This week on Eater’s Digest, Eater San Francisco’s Luke Tsai discusses why the historic and cultural center of SF’s Japantown is especially at risk. Because the majority of small businesses reside in just three buildings, and those three buildings are run by two landlords unwilling to cut their tenants any rent breaks, the center’s future is in question. Tsai discusses the outpouring of support for the businesses and what, if anything, the city can do to help.

Later, Eater Los Angeles’ Mona Holmes discusses why a resurgent downtown restaurant scene has been completely hobbled by the fallout from the virus. Then, Amanda and Dan talk cookie polls, the latest in outdoor dining, and Santa’s yumnuts.

Listen and subscribe to Eater’s Digest on Apple Podcasts.