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The new food hall, named after Whittier College’s mascot, houses several food stations serving up tacos, seafood, pizza, wine, and craft beer from Diaz’s own on-site brewery, Whittier Brewing Company. Located in the historic Nixon Plaza in the heart of Uptown, Poet Gardens gives visitors the choice of dining inside its lofty interior at long communal tables or plush furniture, or enjoying their food on the patio.
Diaz also has plans for pop-ups, giving guest chefs room to drop in for a limited time, he said in an interview with the Uptown Whittier Improvement Association.
“We also have separate lounge areas where maybe some students can come in and relax and read. The community can come in and relax with a glass of wine and a good book,” Diaz said in the interview. “We want to be kind of a multi-use space.” In fact, Poet Gardens has a corner dedicated to a community radio station, W-IPA.
The much-anticipated projected has attracted the attention of foodie outlets like L.A. Taco, Eater Los Angeles, as well as the Los Angeles Times and The Whittier Daily News. Alumni enjoyed a sneak preview as the project came together, and its doors are open to an eager public.
Diaz also owns two other restaurants in Uptown: Bizarra Capital and Colonia Publica. The latter was named one of the best 101 restaurants in Los Angeles by the LA Times last year.