Grand Central Market 100th Anniversary Celebration

The all-day centennial party is happening on Oct. 27, 2017

Grand Central Market | Instagram by @kasperstegeman
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The landmark Grand Central Market opened in Downtown L.A. on Oct. 27, 1917 and has been in continuous operation ever since. The city's largest and oldest public market, GCM spans 30,000 square feet of the ground floor of the Homer Laughlin Building. 

A century ago, Broadway was the principal commercial and entertainment corridor of Downtown Los Angeles. To the west, Bunker Hill was covered with stately Victorian mansions - the area's stylish residents rode Angels Flight down to shop for groceries in the Market's open air arcade.

The Market has always reflected the changing population of Downtown L.A. In the 1920s, the 90+ vendors included multiple green grocers, fishmongers, Jewish delis, and butchers, as well as stalls for dry goods, baked goods, flowers, coffee, cheese, notions—and even one vendor who only sold eggs. Downtown Los Angeles has been evolving ever since, and the Market has continued to evolve with it.

Ira Yellin, a successful developer with an academic interest in urban planning and historical preservation, bought Grand Central Market in 1984 along with adjacent historic properties including the Million Dollar Theatre and the Bradbury Building across the street.

Ira passed away in 2002. His widow, Adele Yellin continues to champion his vision for GCM as a vital gathering place in a vibrant Downtown L.A. Under her leadership, in 2013 the Market began welcoming a new wave of vendors that have transformed the century-old food arcade into a major culinary destination.

Madcapra at Grand Central Market
Madcapra at Grand Central Market | Instagram by @madcaprala

Today, Grand Central Market houses a global collection of classic and modern food vendors. Old school favorites like China Cafe and Tacos Tumbras A Tomas continue to serve guests alongside a new generation of popular spots like Eggslut, Madcapra and Wexler's Deli.

The ongoing revitalization has garnered GCM numerous media accolades, including being named one of the Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appetit magazine in 2014.

GCM also hosts frequent events like live jazz, Trivia Tuesdays, Game Night, and DJ sets at Grand Central Fridays with dublab.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone at the Grand Central Market in "La La Land"
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone at the Grand Central Market in "La La Land" | Photo courtesy of Lionsgate

La La Land fans will recognize Grand Central Market from a montage, when Sebastian and Mia stop by Sarita's Pupuseria.

Grand Central Market Turns 100!

Grand Central Market Hill Street entrance with its original facade
Grand Central Market Hill Street entrance with its original facade | Photo courtesy of GCM

On Oct. 27, Grand Central Market is thanking Angelenos for 100 years of support with a day-long centennial celebration. The festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. with the unveiling of a massive, 100-layer birthday cake created by Valerie Confections with free slices for everyone. Mayor Eric Garcetti will cut the cake. Kids 12 and under get to ride the historic Angels Flight for FREE all day.

"The Grand Central Market Cookbook"
"The Grand Central Market Cookbook" | Photo courtesy of Grand Central Market, Facebook

From 6–10 p.m., the Market hosts a 100th Birthday Bash with GCM vendors serving up menu items and specials inspired by the food hall’s history and the number 100. The evening features music groups representing the different decades of the Market’s history, vintage photo booth, costume contest for prizes, commemorative lapel pins, and a book signing of The Grand Central Market Cookbook. Written by Adele Yellin and Kevin West, the cookbook features 80 recipes contributed by every GCM vendor.

Visitors who check in at the Market between 6-10 p.m. will receive a token for a free round-trip ride on Angels Flight.

Performers include:

  • Janet Klein and Her Parlor Boys - ragtime and early jazz from 6-7:45 p.m., Broadway side
  • Tres Souls - Mexican boleros from 6-7:45 p.m., Hill Street Platform
  • The Starlets and The Blue Suede Brothers presented by Sunset Singers - hits of the 1950s and '60s from 8-10 p.m., Broadway side
  • Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five featuring Hilary Alexander - swing band classics from 8-10 p.m., Hill Street Platform