fbpx

El Gran Burrito Mexican restaurant, LGBTQ safe space to close

El Gran Burrito restaurant

El Gran Burrito, the East Hollywood Mexican restaurant, was a famous afterhours stop for many Latinos who had last call at any of the area’s LGBTQ nightlife spots: Circus Disco, Arena, or Club Tempo. But after 30 years of serving breakfast burritos and carne asada, the iconic space will be closing. Photo: Google Maps.

HOLLYWOOD —El Gran Burrito, the East Hollywood Mexican restaurant, was a famous afterhours stop for many Latinos who had last call at any of the area’s LGBTQ nightlife spots: Circus Disco, Arena, or Club Tempo.

But after 30 years of serving breakfast burritos and carne asada, the iconic space will be closing.

Owners Pedro, 70, and Guadalupe, 61, Davila told the Los Angeles Times that the sprawling yellow and red building they rent near the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Vermont Avenue will be razed to make way for an affordable housing project.

Advertisement

The Davilas plan to close El Gran Burrito in the coming months, according to the Times.

Circus Disco owner Gene La Pietra – who tore down club for a luxury condo development – to receive community hero award

Advertisement

In the article, the Davilas share stories about how for decades they were integral parts of a lower-income neighborhood.

The couple also credited their success to their LGBTQ customers.

For decades, El Gran Burrito’s patio was packed on weekends after closing time at a cluster of nearby gay dance clubs that catering to the LGBTQ Latino community, such as Circus Disco, Arena, and Club Tempo

Advertisement

Pedro said he created a special menu item called “el burrito gay” — a regular burrito with cheese on top — out of gratitude to the loyal LGBTQ customer base.

“Gay clients are who really made the business a success,” Pedro told the Times.

If plans stay on schedule, the building the Davilas have rented since 1990 will be demolished before late next year, when construction is expected to begin on an affordable-housing project.

Advertisement

The 187-apartment complex — rentable units reserved exclusively for low-income households in addition to some retail space on the ground level — is a partnership between nonprofit developer Little Tokyo Service Center and Metro, which has said the project will provide new shade and seating options at its busy Vermont Avenue-Santa Monica Boulevard station.

Advertisement

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!