WeHo Restaurants Closed Today in Honor of ‘Day Without Immigrants’

Kitchen 24 West Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Several West Hollywood restaurants today joined businesses across the United States in closing as part of the “Day Without Immigrants” protest against Donald Trump’s promises to deport undocumented people from this country.

Among those restaurants are Gracias Madre, known for its Mexican vegan cuisine, and WeHo Bistro, whose owner is French, along with Kitchen 24, which, as its name implies, is open 24 hours a day and attracts a large number of tourists and members of the West Hollywood gay community.

Day Without Immigrants is a grassroots campaign that led to carpenters, plumbers, cooks and other immigrant workers — whether documented or not — staying home from work to demonstrate the impact that deporting such people would have on the economy. As part of the protest many people refused to go shopping or attend school.

No national organization was involved in putting the demonstration together. The New York Times reports that it was an organic movement with word spread through social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

David Dickerson, owner of Kitchen 24 in West Hollywood and Hollywood, said his decision to close them today came from a request from his staff. (They will reopen at midnight).

“This was my guys coming to me with tears in their eyes saying we want to do this,” Dickerson said. “This isn’t me having this grand idea … When they approached me with their hearts in their hands I decided to do it.”

The closings were costly for the restaurant owners and other businesses. Dickerson noted that today was an unusually sunny one given the clouds and rain recently, and that sunny weather usually helps fill the restaurant’s outside seating area.

‘We Are All Immigrants’ sign in the door of WeHo Bistro on Holloway at La Cienega.

4 Comments
  1. WeHo Bistro’s sign was more divisive than anything I’ve heard from Trump supporters, especially considering the election was more than three months ago.

  2. Yes, there is no issue at all with legal immigration. Different story for those that enter our country illegally and then on top of that…commit crimes…that is a conscious choice that is made and there are repercussions for your actions. That applies to all off us.

  3. Yes, agreed. Although we are a nation of immigrants the standards for integration appear to have vastly eroded in my lifetime. As standards eroded many got by, resisted learning our language and customs allowing them to be unmoored, clinging to their own and not growing with the richness and attributes of a dual cultural environment. In order to be rewarded in a land of opportunity, it is vital that one participate in meaningful ways. The gulf has continued to widen. The fault has become a collective one. Microcosms of change can begin at a local level and presumably integrate into the national discourse at a time when federal guidelines could be set fairly.

  4. This whole issue is not about removing immigrants – only illegal ones who are perfectly content to come to America to earn (yes, they earn it) a living, but who have no respect for our laws. You can argue both sides of the issue and say they make a contribution. Certainly. But as a whole, it is said they take (in terms of a negative toll on the economy and society) more than they are able to give. And I believe that.

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