South El Monte faces rejection

Getting a sit-down restaurant to set up shop in South El Monte is apparently a lot harder than it looks, Ben Baeder reports:

SOUTH EL MONTE – With the economy sagging, this little blue-collar city is facing the cruel sting of rejection as it tries to attract a restaurant to a freeway-close street corner.

The city is offering financial help to any sit-down restaurant that would open on a pair of adjacent parcels at Santa Anita and Merced avenues near the 60 Freeway, according to city officials.

So far, sixteen out of 17 restaurants rejected the city’s offer, according to city documents. Twenty others did not respond.

Only Panda Express expressed interest, but officials opted to locate to a different location in South El Monte.