Graffiti and protests greet new restaurant in Glassell Park amid complaints about gentrification

Christiane Cordero Image
Saturday, July 2, 2022
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A new restaurant just opened its doors in Glassell Park, but neighbors already want to see them close for good. The eatery is now at the center of a debate over gentrification.

GLASSELL PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A new restaurant just opened its doors in Glassell Park, but neighbors already want to see them close for good.

The eatery is now at the center of a debate over gentrification.

Dunsmoor has officially been part of the Glassell Park neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles for three whole days.

On opening night this past Wednesday, Eater LA took photos showing those who are clearly not happy with their new neighbors.

People reportedly spray painted "gentrification is genocide" on Dunsmoor's windows earlier that day.

Many picketed with signs about protecting their neighborhood, calling Dunsmoor out for charging $23 for a plate of lentils.

And it's not just about this restaurant.

The neighborhood has been changing for years and the people who have called Glassell Park home for generations have been subject to the waves of everything that comes with change -- construction, parking and of course prices.

"The money that my father has been offered for his property, it's like, it's tempting, but it's like you're taking away our home, our history, our business because they have a licensed child care. It's impossible," said resident Maricela Torres.

People who care about this community want to know that what makes it special will survive.

"That they also bring the community up with them, that the community is not left behind so the locals, people who have lived here for many years can also benefit from that business, whether it's higher paying jobs or things like that," said Matthew Troyer, who manages a local business.

The biggest thing for Torres is that she feels like she doesn't have a say about any of the changes despite living there for all 39 years of her life.

Maggie Darett-Quiroz, however, welcomes the restaurant and grew up in the neighborhood. She sees Dunsmoor differently.

The building on Eagle Rock Boulevard sat vacant for decades.

"It's a preservation project," she said. "That takes longer than [demolishing it] and starting from scratch."

In a statement, the Dunsmoor team told Eyewitness News in part, "We remain steadfastly committed to being good neighbors and good stewards of this building we are fortunate to occupy, and look forward to welcoming anyone and everyone into our space in the weeks, months and years to come."

They also noted that the building had sat vacant for decades before they took over.