Affordable eateries dwindle in Laguna Beach

Abigail Roedersheimer, News Editor

From what I remember, it started with Big Fish Tavern. The restaurant closed over three years ago and was replaced with South of Nicks. Big Fish Tavern’s closure seemed to be a disappointing loss at the time. However, nobody could predict the trend that would come of it. 

The recent loss of locations such as The Grove (feeling the pressures of high rent), Taco Bell (owner was urged to close due to complaints by neighbors) and the upcoming closure of BJ’s (also facing the challenges of high rent) is proof of this phenomenon: Affordable restaurants are closing, and more expensive ones will take their place. 

Laguna Beach is already becoming monopolized by restaurants designed for tourists. These restaurants, such as Rum Social and Rebel Omakase, sport high menu prices that tourists will randomly splurge on because they’re on vacation. Families living in Laguna looking for a casual meal have a limited amount of options. Teens have even less. 

Taco Bell’s replacement? It is a sit-down, upscale taco restaurant with a liquor license. The city of Laguna Beach is losing restaurants for locals – and it’s not replacing them.

While tourists are important to cater to, locals deserve places to dine more frequently than only having to go out on an occasional splurge. Laguna Beach should prioritize citizens above all else, as they pay taxes and have helped make this city the beautiful place it is today – locals deserve greater consideration when it comes to our restaurants.