Craft LA is closing

Announced on their IG. Last day of service is 12/16. Sad to see it. My family celebrated several milestone birthdays there. Always solid and terrific service. Will be interesting to see what happens with the space.

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Sad, I don’t think there’s much they could have done. Post-COVID WFH and all the construction and road closures right around them for the purple line station and new building going up probably killed the business.

WFH (had to look that up !) and gotta believe all the other incredible changes in the entertainment industry as well and the strikes. It was such a Hollywood lunch time spot. I wonder if the power lunch is dead?

I used to work in CC and had many a meal at Craft, so this one hits me hard. I was able to snag a reservation for tonight before the news went mainstream, so i’ll get to have the best short rib in LA one last time :slight_smile:

FYI, last day of regular service is this Thursday (11/23). They’re open through 12/16 for holiday parties/private events.


Economy in general as well. Not really getting the word out there. While the construction has been disruptive, it hasn’t hampered the crowds at the Century City mall across the street. Among a younger crowd of diners…. I think it just got overlooked.

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Yes. Thx for the correction.

Had a fantastic meal at Craft last night. The food and service were as great as ever. Short rib remains best in the city. Really bummed Craft is closing. I did find out some more details for those interested.

The GM who had been with the restaurant for ~16 years (it opened 17 years ago, so almost the entire tenure) left about a year ago. The old GM was a superstar. The new GM, it sounds like, was perhaps not befitting of the job. Business was strong and steady, with no noticeable drop off in recent months. In particular, I was told that lunch service (their bread and butter) was still very strong, despite WFH trends. All of which is to say there was no immediate precipitating event. Perhaps service was down since pre Covid - that I did not get a chance to suss out. The lease on the property is up in June 2024, and it seems like employees had some inkling that the lease might not be renewed. But the sudden closure, delivered to them last week by Craft corporate in NY, came as a sudden shock to the staff, many of whom had been there for 5, 10, 15+ years. They didn’t have the decency to send even a single exec on a plane and deliver the news in person. Nor have they heard a peep from Tom Collichio. I only spoke with a few staff members, so I can’t extrapolate to everyone, but I get the sense that staff feels severely blindsided and hurt by the sequence of events. Some already have new jobs lined up - and given the pedigree of the restaurant and the shortage of restaurant workers, I’m sure the rest will be able to find employment. It does make you wonder what could cause such a quick closure. As soon as the closure was announced, the last days of service immediately booked up. If they had announced a few weeks in advance, I’m sure they could have had a few straight weeks of nearly fully booked service. The only thing that comes to mind as a plausible and perhaps rational explanation for the sudden closure is that another restaurant group offered to buy out their lease early and demanded that they needed the restaurant ASAP….

There’s a post from 5 days ago on FoodLosAngeles that matches up with much of what I was told by employees last night (in fact, I imagine the post was written by an employee or friend of an employee). The post confirms that the lease was set to run well into next year, but suggests general mismanagement as the reason for the sudden closure. The post also claims that employees were offered no severance.

@matthewkang might be worth digging in and seeing if there’s a scoop here…whether it’s gross mismanagement or something else, I think people would be interested in the full story.


thanks, I was actually planning on going tonight to the bar. I’ll ask around and see how much of this lines up.


Wow! If this pans out, it leaves a really bad taste. Our encounter with staff last Saturday was nothing short of wonderful. Absolutely no influence from what had to be devastating news. Tremendous professionalism on all fronts. I do hope you’re right and staff are able to transition. Just awful to be treated with such indignity.