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Whole Foods Opens First Downtown Los Angeles Location

By LA Times, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Whole Foods opening downtown at 8th and Grand, with Roy Choi’s Chego

First of all, it’s big. The new Whole Foods market opening Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles is a bright and sprawling 41,000 square feet, with a cavernous 170-spot parking garage underneath the Eighth & Grand apartment complex.

At a preview Monday night, Whole Foods honchos revealed their first store in downtown Los Angeles. And this one is not the same-old, same-old.

It includes a restaurant and bar called the Eight Bar, with 220 seats both inside and out, trendy tall communal tables and a menu that will change four times a year with the seasons. Behind the bar is a lineup of 36 beverages on tap, including local craft beer, kombucha and root beer. Wines by the glass include five higher-end choices dispensed via the Coravin system of wine preservation.

But the big news is Roy Choi. The Kogi founder’s restaurant Chego will be part of the prepared foods area. Choi said he’s excited about bringing his rice bowl concept to a new market.

“It’s the first time Whole Foods has reached out to a small local business like ours,” Choi said. “Everything will be organic and priced pretty much the same as at the Chinatown Chego. It’s a totally fresh take on the build-your-own concept.”

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