By Bill Hendrickson
Dunsmoor, a new restaurant in Glassell Park, became the target of anti-gentrification graffiti and protests on Wednesday, the day of its opening, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.
In the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday, “Gentrification Is Genocide” was spray painted on the restaurant windows in English and Spanish, according to the restaurant owners who spoke to the Times.
The Times story described the scene during dinnertime at the restaurant, from about 5 p.m. to 10 p.m: Some 60 protestors gathered. As patrons dined inside, some of the protestors pressed handmade signs on the restaurant windows reading, “GENTRIFIERS ARE ON THE MENU TONIGHT” and “F— YOUR $23 LENTILS.”
Other signs had messages such as “Save the hood! We say NO to gentry restaurants!”
The Times traced the origin of the protest to a new Instagram account by the name of @dunsmoorisdone. The Times reported that the account posted a joint call to action on Tuesday with Street Watch L.A., a community group formed by the L.A. chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and the Los Angeles Community Action Network.
The post said the protest was intended to send a message “that gentrification pioneers can no longer count on feeling entitled to set up shop and cause displacement – and homelessness – wherever they see fit.”
The Times reported that representatives of the @dunsmoorisdone Instagram account and Street Watch L.A. could not be reached for comment at time of publication of the story on Thursday afternoon.
Taylor Parsons, a partner in the Dunsmoor along with acclaimed chef Brian Dunsmoor, told the Times that patrons had a range of reactions to the opening night protests, including concern but also excitement. The restaurant was busy, though some diners asked to have their meals packed up to go and some canceled their reservations, he told the Times.
In Northeast L.A., Glassell Park and Highland Park have been flash points in ongoing debates over gentrification.
20 thoughts on “Dunsmoor restaurant in Glassell Park was the target of anti-gentrification graffiti and protests, reports the L.A. Times”
The protestors should have been cited for vandalism.
With CD 1 having a pro anti gentrification anti police counsel person, this criminal activity will become more prevalent. She will ruin any hopes of advancing her district into a new more inclusive place to live and open businesses. Even Hispanic entrepreneurs will think twice when considering opening a small to midsized business there as they don’t want to pigeon hole their investments in a hostile area. This Hispanic investor definitely will think twice bringing my money into her district. I will go where all are welcome, even our less fortunate community stakeholders.
Glassell Park has done just fine without these new and disruptive businesses & restaurants, they oughta go find somewhere else to go peddle their wares.
Shame on you for advocating the destruction of property. The restaurant owner is not responsible for gentrification. If you don’t want to eat here, don’t. There are so many choices in NE LA. You oughta go somewhere else where there are only people just like you, with the same tastes and financial status, and educational level. I would prefer that you not live in my diverse neighborhood
Recognizing gentrification in your neighborhood means that you’re already at least five years too late to do anything about it. Protests are effective, but only sometimes, to stop the change at its beginning. But protests don’t work once the roots extend deep into your ‘hood, and you can’t change much.
You didn’t notice that Glassell Park was gentrifying in 2008, or earlier? Pay attention instead of reacting.
This building sat vacant for years. They didn’t push anyone out. The protesters weren’t even from Glassell Park. Now I am for sure going to support Dunsmoor
If any of you are CD13 voters, be aware that these actions coordinated by the DSA are one in the same with the effort to elect Hugo Soto Martinez over Mitch O’Farrell. O’Farrell is subject of a dirty hit job (inaccurate, unfair and just plain dirty) by the DSA led campaign of HSM. It is the dirtiest I have ever seen in my time in local politics. Do not vote for candidates the advocate to destroy the efforts of local businesses. O’Farrell is an tribal member, decent guy and hardworker who also supports communities in a balanced and fair way.
The “protest” makes a misplaced, unclear and unfair moral judgment. What if the shop were not occupied with a specialty car wheel and rim business instead of a restraurent. You know, the bling rims that you will see on lifted pickup trucks? Those kind of wheels cost thousands of dollars. To my values, they are a huge waste of money and often drain the finances of low income folks. But I am sure DSA would not vandalize their shop. Which of the businesses return value to its customer? It depends entirely on what you value but be sure both of these businesses have a right to exist. The question about we spend or waste our money is entirely a value judgment and the judgment being made by DSA is not just personal. They are assigning themselves the role to say that this business is good and this one is bad. DSA is retrograde in its assumptions. Personally, bling rims are a waste of cash. I’d rather spend a few more bucks on an experience of food in the company of a friend. Not sure if Dunsmore will be my thing but I admire the effort and no business owner should face and outside the area attack on its opening night.
Both customer and business owner are engaged in the “pursuit of happiness.” Communities across our region are working together to affect change and that requires listening, open dialog and to cast off racism. People need to work towards creating equity in our economic system but it is not done by cowardly attacks on small business owners.
Its a bit out of my budget range—- but I am going to splurge and go support this business. DSA better not put their hands on me, destroy any of my property or harass me or my family.
This is the height of stupidity. Why $23 lentils? Because minimum wage is $16 per hour and business licenses and taxes cost money. People claim they want living wages for workers and investment in under served communities, but when businesses do just that they destroy it and claim gentrification is ruining things. Which is it? Cuz it can’t be both.
Left wing nuts on the loose. Everyone should have lunch at Dunsmoor.
I have lived in GP for 20 years and have seen the struggle to oust the gangs that tagged any and all walls everywhere, heard the police helicopters when the gangs murdered each other, driven past empty and abandoned buildings (including the one Dunsmoor is in) and wondered when we would get basic amenities that make a neighborhood livable. It’s been a verrrry slow process, and to see this wonderful building get a face-lift and new tenants is more than exciting. To the people complaining and tagging: don’t you realize a place like this will contribute to the tax base that YOU can take advantage of? Your organizing efforts should be with the services you’d like to see that money spent on. Grow up.
The owner of this restaurant should have done his homework. Either he doesn’t care or lives with his head in the ground. He should know how his business and presence will open the door to more restaurants that will hurt the current neighbors in the end. People need to educate themselves and learn about gentrification and displacement and how they contribute to it. He needs to take responsibility and should think of others that have lived there for decades and the issues they are facing.
As a lifelong resident of NELA and a renter, I am so inspired and grateful for the bold action taken by our neighbors who protested. For years, our family, friends and legacy busineses have been forced to move away or live in slum conditions because of greed. These businesses attract predatory developers and we are facing extinction co-signed by Cedillo & Huizar. This is real community action, no politicians needed or wanted!
Dunsmoor’s space was empty for at least 20 YEARS! A neighborhood should prefer an abandoned space? Intimidating a small business that is actually trying to make a living is deplorable. And the irony of imported demonstrators indicates some other agenda is at play here.
To all the residents that want the Dunsmoor to leave and all the residents who just bought to vacate, ok what if that magically happened? Now what ? Other than bringing back a bunch of salvaging lots and muffler shops what else is your plan? More liquor stores and weed dispensaries! Wow talk about a social advancement and urban renewal. Talk about reverse racism! This member of the Latin community is no way nostalgic for the GP of the eighties and nineties. I love my new neighbors and they have done nothing more than add to the flavor of the Northeast area.
This whole thing is a joke!! Glassell Park definitely needs a facelift. Whatever it takes to beautify this sleepy town. If not, it will eventually turn into a Ernie Jrs. Taco House settlement….
I don’t agree with the tactics used by the protestors. Vandalism certainly attracts attention, but the restaurant will enjoy even more attention now that the protest has occurred and the story is in the LA Times. If concerned individuals and groups want to send a message about the needs of residents of Glassell Park and NELA more generally, the message needs to be about the economic and social issues facing residents of NELA. Rents are high, tenants are getting evicted and displaced, homelessness is an intractable issue, people who lost their jobs during the pandemic are trying to recover, inflation is making it harder to make ends meet, folks need health care, education, and are afraid that they will suffer personal violence. Attacking a new business because it may be a symbol of gentrification doesn’t express the actual problems that need to be addressed. What about all the corporations that have set up businesses? The money corporations earn will not go back into the community, the wages paid are not enough to help support residents’ rent and personal expenses. McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, Starbucks and other chain stores in NELA are all symptoms of corporations’ interests overtaking communities’ interests. I think it is better to work on what residents of communities WANT and NEED. Protest is easy…the hard work is building something positive in the community.
These people that vandalized should be investigated and arrested. If people don’t like the restaurant, don’t go there. I am grateful to have a variety of restaurants to go to, this one sounds unique, possibly delicious. I’ll go check it out. P.S. Newsflash, LA is a pretty transitional city, neighborhoods are changing over years, or decades often, Boyle Heights used to be a Jewish neighborhood, Highland Park used to be alot more white 60 years ago. I like neighborhoods that are a good mix of people, like it is now in Highland Park. Also, with regard to gentrification, people who’ve been here for decades don’t have to sell their houses, and people renting who’ve been here under rent control for years and decades don’t have to move. People who don’t like a new restaurant don’t have to eat there.
@Angie…Your post pretty much hits the point right on the mark.
I see nothing wrong with this business. The building has been vacant for decades anyways! If you can’t afford 23$ lentils then don’t go simple as that but no need to be disrespectful. The worst part is that the protesters are not from glassel park. Seems to me that they are getting paid to protest by another business!
I agree with everyone whose comments here support Dunsmoor and similar new businesses opening in NELA. “The only constant in life is change.”
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