For around 30 years, Dulan’s on Crenshaw has been synonymous with some of the best soul food available in South Los Angeles. Between the mouth-watering fried chicken, stewed to perfection oxtails, velvety macaroni and cheese, greens and delightful desserts among other menu items, it’s totally understandable how the restaurant started by Adolf Dulan has lasted so long.
“We have been there for over three decades so we have generational customers,” explains Greg Dulan, who took over the establishment from his late father, who died in 2017. Dulan adds, “We give back, we support. We are active. We are a part of the Crenshaw community, part of the neighborhood.”
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A favorite within the Crenshaw District community, the restaurant has attracted Hollywood elites ranging from Janet Jackson to Elizabeth Taylor. Meanwhile, the location also served as a pitstop for both local and national politicians, including Joe Biden.
However — while Dulan’s Inglewood location off Manchester Boulevard has been going strong, benefiting particularly from an increase in foot traffic since the fall 2020 opening of SoFi Stadium — the original location, Dulan’s on Crenshaw, has been closed for two and a half years. (Dulan’s in Inglewood, along with another Dulan’s on Century Boulevard, is operated by Greg Dulan’s brother, Terry Dulan.)
After initially closing for renovations in 2021, several roadblocks disrupted reopening plans, from challenges caused by COVID-19 to ongoing construction of the Metro K Line.
“I probably should have quit and shut down my restaurant a couple of years ago,” Dulan says. “But I said ‘No, I’m going to stay and try to find something.'”
This month, Dulan’s has finally reopened after a lengthy redo. Returning fans of the restaurant will notice many significant changes that makes the ambiance a bit more upscale. Alongside updates to the exterior aesthetics, the indoor and outdoor areas have been expanded to each have 50 seats.
There’s also still a rear patio for special events that’s currently under construction and will seat 80 people. That space may be used for brunch events in the future too. To accommodate the increase in potential customers, a nearby nursery school was purchased that will be transformed into a parking lot.
Notably, there are now two kitchens, with one on view from the dining area. The celebrated menu that earned Dulan’s a James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur Award in 2023 remains the same, with some additions. This includes a late-night menu that will feature foods like fried chicken sandwiches alongside possibly shrimp and grits. Dulan is also thinking of opening the kitchen early for breakfast. Alcohol and specialty drinks are coming in the future as well.
“It’s going to add a lot of versatility to the neighborhood,” Dulan says. “We built something the community has been asking for. They want a nice sit-down restaurant.”
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