AbundantFeast: a Restaurant Incubator and Inclusive Localism Lab inspired by Jonathan Gold

submission by civ.LA

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):


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Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):


Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):


For-benefit organization

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


civ.LA is an agile civic innovation laboratory (or "think-do tank"). We're passionate about launching new ventures that connect conflicted stakeholder groups around opportunities to create value equitably.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


AbundantFeast is a for-benefit incubator of restaurants confronting the issues of gentrification. Its board of directors comprise the conflicted stakeholders in urban development. The incubator is a modified startup launch process to power-up new restaurants vetted by a criteria set by the board. It will be self-sustaining after startup costs. It will create new value to share among the stakeholders. It will evolve urban development toward equitable resolution of conflict and inclusion.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County:

Highland Park

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Connect” metrics? (check all that apply)

Rates of volunteerism

Voting rates by race

Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support

Median travel time to work

Attendance at cultural events

Number of public transit riders

Participation in neighborhood councils

Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)

Government responsiveness to residents’ needs (Dream Metric)

Transit-accessible housing and employment (the share of housing units and percentage of jobs that are located near transit)

Total number of local social media friends and connections (Dream Metric)

Attendance at public/open streets gatherings (Dream Metric)

Residential segregation (Dream Metric)

Access to free wifi (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to connect.


(Embedded video clip is from "City of Gold" by Laura Gabbert and not associated with this project)

“Food is political here in a way that rock and roll hasn’t been for years,” Gold recently wrote in Saveur Magazine. “It plugs into the rhythms of the city and the world, engaging all the important questions of social justice and health, diversity and inclusion.” - Jonathan Gold

AbundantFeast is a for-benefit incubator of restaurants that plug into the rhythms of Los Angeles. It will connect diverse stakeholders in the wave of development in Los Angeles. It will connect existing residents in Highland Park with aspiring chefs who want to open a restaurant there. It will connect college students with real world experience of entrepreneurship intersecting with a social mission. It will connect questions of social justice, health, diversity and inclusion to the wave of development in the City.

Underneath the issues of gentrification is a disconnect among the groups it impacts. The systemic history is so vast, that the groups experience it as circumstance. AbundantFeast intervenes in that chasm. It brings representatives from the conflicted stakeholders together. It gives them a chance to discard the conventions that pair development with disconnection. It empowers them to make connections with each other and create new value on terms that include all of them.

From the work of the board, two ways to make new connections have already emerged. Our workforce training program will provide good, creative job opportunities to those who live near the incubator. Students from nearby Occidental College will connect to the neighborhood as volunteers. Shared governance makes new connections possible.

Each restaurant AbundantFeast launches will testify to inclusionary localism and urbanism. The restaurants will have a sense of place that even extends to the realm of politics. The basis of inclusion for the members of each stakeholder group is co-creation. Dining at the incubator will be an opportunity to champion aspiring chefs seeking a common table. Jonathan Gold also said: to make his Best of LA list "it has to be a restaurant that makes you look at Los Angeles in a new way." AbundantFeast is a restaurant that is a chance to imagine a new Los Angeles.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


We will compile a dashboard of key performance indicators. Performance indicators are measures of our operational effectiveness and progress toward our goals. On equity for instance, we can survey the equity impacts of recent new restaurants to make a baseline. The equity impact of each restaurant we incubate is the increment it exceeds the baseline. Beyond tracking performance, we can look at patterns in the indicators to find ways to improve the incubation process.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):


Put us on you must-eat-there list

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Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015