Back in 2008, a group of Koreans purchased the Little Tokyo Shopping Center in downtown, leading to speculation that big changes were afoot in the neighborhood. Here's what was written at the time: "A group of Korean-American businessmen has purchased the Little Tokyo Shopping Center and the new owners plan to evict the Japanese businesses and replace them with mostly Korean businesses." But now the 250,000-square-foot mall sits 40% vacant, according to the Downtown News. Send in the booze! "On Monday, Oct. 25, mall officials are scheduled to go before the city’s Office of Zoning Administration to ask for a master conditional use permit that, among other things, would make it easier for new tenants to obtain a liquor license. It could lead to as many as eight new restaurants in the coming years." So far, the bigger box stores--like Best Buy and GameStop--have refused to come because of the location, but there's been some movement on that nightlife and restaurant front: Club Vault 21 opened up, and Korean BBQ restaurant is coming in December. Jay Kim, the property manager at the shopping center, tells the paper: “We’re trying for that young crowd and they love to eat and drink and play." Oh to be young and eat and drink and play.
· The Old Mall Game [Downtown News]