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Battle of Dunsmoor

LOS ANGELES: On Jun. 29, 2022, chef Brian Dunsmoor open an eponymous restaurant in Los Angeles’ Glassell Park neighborhood.

Immediately, organized groups (some of whom were from the predominately Latino neighborhood) began protesting and vandalizing Dunsmoor with cries of “gentrification.”

News reports describe the scene outside as patrons dined inside: “Sixty protestors gathered, some pressing handmade signs on the restaurant windows reading, ‘GENTRIFIERS ARE ON THE MENU TONIGHT’ and ‘FUCK YOUR $23 LENTILS.'”

“Though Dunsmoor isn’t the first new business to open in the neighborhood,” writes “Eater LA.” “Demonstrators believe that it represents the final push before ‘predatory developers’ irreversibly transform Glassell Park.”

And, as we always observe, when exactly did the gentrification begin? Let’s take a look:

  • When Paleoamerican ancestors of the Chumash arrived 13,000 years ago?
  • When the indigenous Tongva moved in from the Sonoran Desert 3,500 years back?
  • During the Spanish Conquest of the mid-1700s?
  • When the ranch land was granted to Spanish army corporal José María Verdugo in 1784?
  • Following the Mexican-American War? That’s when conquerors briefly claimed the land. It was then reinstated to the Verdugo family by an 1848 treaty.
  • Or, after Andrew Glassell and Alfred B. Chapman purchased the property at a foreclosure auction in 1869 and then filed an 1871 lawsuit (known as “The Great Partition”) which divided the ranch into thirty-one properties?
  • When German bakers arrived in the area at the turn into the 20th century? Or, maybe, in 1912, when Los Angeles annexed what is now Glassell Park?
  • Perhaps this change took place as railways, then industry, then highways connected Glassell to a wider world?
  • Surely gentrification resulted in the city’s 1920s residential construction boom of Spanish colonial revival, English Tudor, and smaller bungalows and also triggered the streamline modern and mid-century modern homes in subsequent decades.
  • Or, maybe it was the gang activity in the late 1900s that dramatically changed Glassell Park?

Claims of gentrification are always myopic.

Our best to chef Dunsmoor and partner Taylor Parsons for making a go of it with a fine-dining restaurant in an ever-changing neighborhood. Also, thank you for breathing life back into a 1929 Spanish revival building that had been sitting vacant … for decades.

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