The Bellwether Permanently Closes: Operating at 50 Percent Capacity Isn’t ‘Sustainable’

'After five years of serving our community, there is just no way for us to move forward...,' ownership announced on social media Wednesday.
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The Bellwether has permanently closed its Studio City doors, at 13251 Ventura Blvd., Owners Ann-Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson Wednesday announced on social media. The San Fernando Valley restaurant shut down for what was supposed to be temporary in the spring to slow the spread of COVID-19, but never reopened.

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“At this time, we have to announce that the Bellwether will not be reopening,” Verdi and Hopson wrote in the announcement. “After five years of serving our community, there is just no way for us to move forward as a sustainable business.” Although The Bellwether never reopened, the owners say they “mapped out all scenarios to make the business work, but sadly, even running at 50 percent capacity, we cannot sustain the business.”

When adding up the operating costs—wages, food, supplies, rent—the margins just didn’t make sense, the restaurateurs explained.

“…We have gotten to serve hundreds of thousands of people, cook at charity events around the city, and be recognized for the hard work by our whole team,” Verdi and Hopson wrote. “We truly don’t believe we could have made it this far without everyone, from all of our cooks and bussers to the chefs and bartenders; from the people who gave us a chance on a Saturday night, to the guests who would come every Tuesday. We felt the Bellwether become part of the community, and we love that…”

The Bellwether is not an outlier in making such a decision. Several of the city’s restaurants, big and small, are permanently closing amid the pandemic. Click here for the ongoing What Now Los Angeles closure coverage.

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak (CJS) is the Founder of What Now Media Group, Inc., the publisher of What Now Atlanta and What Now Los Angeles.
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