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Here’s Looking at You Reopens in Koreatown LA Through GoFundMe

At the brink of their last hope, a GoFundMe page started in order to help reopen Here’s Looking at You. And from the continuous love and support from customers and fans of the restaurant, the restaurant managed to have their grand re-re-reopening on Sunday January 9, 2022. After COVID forced the restaurant to temporarily close, it has been a struggle for co-owners, Lien Ta and Chef Jonathan Whitener. However, through the help of donations, they were slowly able to pay off their $90,000 in rent to help serve their community. 

Here’s Looking at You was the first beef tartare restaurant that opened on July 3, 2016. The co-owners were two friends working together to achieve their dream together. With their success, HLAY was named ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and ‘Best Cocktail Bar in America’ by Food & Wine Magazine. With much success, they also opened All Day Baby, a feel-good Silver Lake Restaurant and cocktail bar in late 2019.

How did they come back?

Here’s Looking at You first closed on March 15, 2020 due a power outage in the middle of brunch service. However, opening the restaurant was harder than it seemed as over 110,000 restaurants ended up closing indefinitely due to the ongoing pandemic. 

With barely a clutch from a PPP loan, the restaurant was able to reopen, only to close again after six weeks. They had to close once more on July 12, 2020, making the thought of having a third opening seem impossible. Also owing $90,000 in rent with the landlord forcing the restaurant to be up for sale to pay off the rent, the restaurant had one more chance to save their restaurant: the help from their customers and fans. 

HLAY opened a GoFundMe page with the hashtag #SaveHLAY in hopes to reopen the restaurant through the love and support from customers. And if they were able to do so, the restaurant would be sure to serve their gratitude by re-opening. It was successful as they tried to place their goal for December or early January, and the restaurant managed to raise enough money to have their third re-opening on January 9, 2022. They are open five days week and closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

Where is HLAY located?

Here’s Looking at You is located near the intersection of S Oxford Ave and W 6th St. It is located inside a small area where there is a small hotel named Libra and across the street would be Cafe Loft. There is a private parking lot with limited space, so it is important to try and reserve an early seat so you can find space. It’s located in the middle of Western Ave and S Oxford Ave. 

What's on their menu?

On their menu, they focus on fine dining with savory dishes. Their most loved dishes would be the frog’s legs and shishito peppers. The food is unique to serve the aesthetics of the restaurant, and their most popular dish would be the beef tartare. The menu also evolves nightly so it’s definitely worth a try to try their special dishes. Paired with their delicious desserts, you can also order their special cocktails, wine, or beer. 

Make sure you stop by Here’s Looking at You for not only fine dining but delicious dishes and an experience you won’t regret. After their third re-opening, the co-owners are especially focused on fully serving their community with quality service and gratitude. 

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