In the Weeds: feeding the neighborhood with leftover biscuits

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Seen here prior to COVID, Chef Monica May and business partner, Kristen Trattener, unearthed old menus on the wall with 25 cent hamburgers and 15 cent baked beans, as they renovated 1940s space to become Nickel Diner. Photo courtesy of Nickel Diner.

For this week’s installment of “In the Weeds,” Monica May describes the renovated diner that she and her business partner, Kristen Trattner, opened in 2008 during the last economic downturn. Nickel Diner in downtown Los Angeles sits in the middle of an eclectic mix of people, situated between two low-income hotels and Chrysalis, a job placement center.  May credits the community with saving the restaurant during the pandemic. She says the neighborhood was in the crosshairs of the protests and looting last year. The Nickel fed 1,000 people this Thanksgiving and continues to feed those in need every weekend as they turn the space into a soup kitchen.


Known for her familiar comfort food, Monica May describes connecting with her neighbors at the Nickel Diner.
Photo courtesy of Nickel Diner.

Credits

Host:
Evan Kleiman

Producers:
Laryl Garcia, Gillian Ferguson