In what sadly can only be called unsurprising, Alma's owners revealed today in an interview with GrubStreet that the restaurant will close after service on Oct. 24. Ashleigh Parsons and chef Ari Taymor cite their ongoing lawsuit with a former friend and adviser as the reason the business is no longer sustainable. “A lot of our ability to maintain the restaurant was contingent upon us being able to wrap up the lawsuit in an expedient manner,” Taymor told GrubStreet. “To have that kind of cost, on top of running a small business, wasn't working out.”
When I spoke to Taymor in early July about the lawsuit and the restaurant overall, he already seemed as though he knew closing might be an outcome of his situation. “We just figured we’re going to go week by week and day by day,” he said at the time. He also expressed a lot of pride for the way they've run the restaurant and appreciation for the community, including the generosity of people who donated to Alma's crowdfunding campaign, which raised more than $48,000.
Speaking of that campaign, I reached out to Parsons to ask if they would be able to honor the perks promised to donors. She wrote back: “We're absolutely honoring all Indiegogo perks — to be honest, most individuals have already come in and redeemed them. I'll be mailing out prints/posters/tote bags next week. I also emailed all the indiegogo supporters so they know to contact us with any questions.”
We're sad to see Alma go. It is one of L.A.'s true originals, and its loss feels like a blow to downtown and to the whole city.