Upscale Makeover Threatens the Character of L.A.'s Beloved Public Market

L.A.'s historic Grand Central Market is undergoing an upscale makeover. Steve Lopez, an unabashed urban market fanatic, is concerned the changes threaten the market's role as discount center and bridge between affluent and working class Angelenos.

Lopez, market connoisseur and columnist for the Los Angeles Times, fears for the future of "Los Angeles' downtown treasure, the iconic Grand Central Market, which is undergoing a transformation that could either destroy it or revive it, depending on whom you talk to." 

"For many years, the market has served primarily as a discount center, offering produce, dry goods and prepared meals to a largely working-class Latino clientele." But the "people's market" is adding new vendors such as a gourmet cheese store, seafood bar, and wood-fired pizzeria

"Marc Wutschke, a downtown resident, fears the days of tomatoes for 50 cents a pound are numbered, and what is now an 'exotic' locale will lose 'its character and flavor.'"

"But such talk is nonsense, according to management, which says the character of the market is its greatest asset," adds a skeptical Lopez.

Full Story: A blend — or clash — of old and new at Grand Central Market


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