Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

An ace caff with quite a nice DWP headquarters attached: freedom for the LADWP cafeteria!

Soon, the magic of reasonably priced public utility cafeteria food can again be yours.
Soon, the magic of reasonably priced public utility cafeteria food can again be yours.
nixhorizon/Flickr cc

If you're a fan of the price, location &/or view at the LA Department of Water and Power's Hope street headquarters, Festivus is coming early this year. I aired my grievances before about the fact that the cafeteria was closed to the public for "security reasons." Now I understand that it's opening back up again.

Perhaps not surprisingly, at least one reason is money. Sodexo, the company that runs the contract for the John Ferraro Building cafeteria, gave DWP 120 days notice back on May 17 that they planned to terminate the contract for the concession. During the DWP board's September 12 meeting, DWP's Gary Wong said, "what they [Sodexo] cited at the time, JFB has been closed to public and a significant downturn in catering both within the department and outside for external catering." In other words, those jurors and Yelp-driven diners were good business.

At two meetings this fall, water and power commissioners approved an extension to negotiate the contract (in exchange for releasing Sodexo from moneys owed), and approved an addendum to the original July 2010 contract, giving Sodexo more money. DWP wanted to keep the cafeteria open, which meant keeping its concessionaire happy; they've got 2500 employees in the Hope street headquarters, and, as Wong said to the board back in September, they gotta eat (especially the emergency center ones).

So does Frank Stoltze, after all. Here's to visitor-pass lunches. 

(Headline-homage to the Saatchi ad for the Victoria & Albert museum, which I admired as a wee little girl.)