‘Culinary Hubs’ Turn Homes Into Micro-Restaurants

Real estate developers around the country are converting old single-family homes into “culinary hubs,” reports The New York Times.

2 minute read

February 25, 2024, 9:00 AM PST

By Mary Hammon @marykhammon


Front of an Spanish style bungalow with striped window awnings and a tree and yard landscaped with cacti.

Garrett Graham / Adobe Stock

According to an article in the New York Times by Arielle Paul, repurposing single-family homes into micro restaurants or “culinary hubs” is a growing trend nationally. “From Los Angeles to Nashville, developers are transforming clusters of old homes into walkable culinary hubs for the surrounding high-density neighborhoods,” Paul reports. Advocates of this new use say it’s an excellent reuse of blighted properties, “sustainably preserving the homes while serving the economic needs of the neighborhood.” But critics are concerned about the loss of affordable housing and potential gentrification and displacement of existing communities.

Paul points out that conversion of historic homes into restaurants is not new. There are famous restaurants around the country that are located in what were once homes. She spoke to real estate and architecture experts that said only certain houses would meet the criteria such as foot traffic to successfully convert to restaurants and that these types of homes would provide affordable, lower-square-foot commercial spaces for start-ups and small businesses.

Stuart A. Gabriel, a finance professor and the director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at the University of California, Los Angeles, told the New York Times reporter, that the loss of homes might not be significant enough to move the needle on the housing shortage at large and that he is concerned about potential displacement of families. “On the other hand, there are a whole set of positives in terms of amenities and services, and then improvements, property values and equity gains for the people who actually own housing there,” he said.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 in The New York Times

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