Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

DWP Cafeteria in the John Ferraro building now closed to the public [UPDATED]

It's been a favorite of jury pool members, people on the Chowhound board, and journalists looking for an affordable lunch, but now all those people are shut out. The cafeteria downstairs in the John Ferraro building - DWP's big iconic heaquarters on Hope Street - is no longer for you. (Okay, me.)

A sign near the entrance to the building says this has been true as of August 30, 2010. But none of the security guards or anyone else I ran into knew why. I've got calls in to the DWP's media relations folks, so I'll update you.

I will say it seems weird to close down a cafeteria in a public building to public access. I mean, the U.S. Senate lets the public eat in its cafeteria, as does the House of Representatives. Locally, we have The Gas Company's cafeteria. Until it went out of business, you could rub elbows with city hall staffers at the snack bar there. Anyone know what gives? Any jurors (rural or otherwise) run into this problem yet?

UPDATE, 12:20 pm: LADWP director of communications Joe Ramallo says, economically: "new security procedures. Sorry."

UPDATE AGAIN, 5:58 pm: Seriously, I can't find an example of another public utility or public agency's building where the public can't eat in the cafeteria. No, senior editor Nick Roman, I didn't spend all day looking.