Larchmont Village in LA
TOP NEWS: LARCHMONT BUNGALOW LOSES CIVIL CASE AGAINST CITY. Next hearing in criminal case: June 17, 2014.
Chocoholics closed May 2013. Hamburger Hamlet closed December. NONI closed January. Supercuts closed January 30, 2014.

Larchmont Beverly Fire: April 9, 2014

A fire broke out approximately 5:50 am Wednesday morning in an alley behind the Chipotle restaurant on the northwest corner of Beverly & Larchmont.


Larchmont & Beverly Fire


Traffic was blocked in the area for about an hour. There were no injuries, and the fire itself mostly damaged this Toyota hybrid and the garage the vehicle was in.  


Larchmont Beverly Fire: April 9 2014


Internet connectivity in the immediate area was reportedly affected until Thursday.
 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
   

Burger Lounge - Larchmont Village 2014

 


Burger Lounge Grass-Fed Burgers on Larchmont



Burger Lounge is opening a location in Larchmont Village in 2014, in the former space of Hamburger Hamlet (Avocado Grill). 

Address: 217 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Founded in La Jolla in 2007, Burger Lounge defines itself with the tagline: Grass-Fed Beef. Local Produce. Living Green. Modern Digs.

In the Los Angeles area, Burger Lounge currently has restaurants in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Brentwood and Santa Monica. A notable item on its menu is the Elk Burger. 


   

Larchmont Bungalow: Furniture Store

In a meeting with the neighborhood, Ken Bernard and Jonathan Ahron, representing the Larchmont Bungalow, said they are operating as a take-out business.

When asked why they have tables and chairs in the restaurant, Mr. Bernard said they have furniture, including beds, to sell to their customers. There are signs posted saying all food is served “to go.”

When asked if the business is now a furniture store, Mr. Bernard said yes, that’s what their customers wanted, so that’s what they’re providing.

Asked if they’re really a furniture store, or just selling the furniture because it was there, Mr. Bernard said that in addition to food sales, the business has a bakery and lots of other retail sales.  

Mr. Ahron said it’s a “concept store,” and there are similar businesses in New York, San Francisco and other cities.  They also noted that Mr. Bernard and Mr. Ahron are tenants in the building, and not the building’s co-owners (with Albert Mizrahi), as has been reported.

When asked what percentage of the business the furniture sales represent, Mr. Ahron said he doesn’t know yet.  Mr. Bernard said furniture sales wasn’t in their original business plan, and they just started, but there has been an overwhelming response from customers.  He said they are constantly adapting to the demands of their customers.

When asked about the original purpose of the furniture that’s now for sale, Mr. Bernard said the original intent was to operate a take-out restaurant.  But the landlord signed an agreement promising no tables or chairs, so they had to change their business plan.

When asked if the furniture sales aren’t really a “clever conceit,” and whether patrons sit on the furniture while they’re eating, Mr. Bernard said customers do try out the furniture.

When asked how many pieces of furniture have been sold and what prices they’re asking for various items, Mr. Bernard said they have sold some pieces, and have the receipts to prove it.  He also said that if customers request specific pieces or brands of furniture, they will procure them.

When asked if he knew when he leased the space that this would be a sit-down restaurant, Mr. Bernard stated again that the Bungalow is a take-out restaurant, and not a sit-down restaurant.

When asked if he was aware that he was not allowed to have tables and chairs, Mr. Bernard said the landlord signed off on their original business plan.  Mr. Ahron said the City asked the owner to sign the affidavit promising no tables and chairs, but that he and Mr. Bernard were not aware of it.

When asked which of them was present in 2009 when the agreement to not have a sit-down restaurant was reached, Mr. Bernard said he and Mr. Ahron were at the meeting.  

When it was noted there is a sign at the restaurant advertising breakfast, lunch and dinner, Mr. Bernard said the sign has always been there.



The City Attorney's office has since filed criminal charges against Larchmont Bungalow. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for April 11, 2014. 




LINKS TO RELATED ARTICLES:

City's Criminal Case Against Larchmont Bungalow
Health Department's Official Inspection Report
Larchmont Bungalow: 8,177 Coupons for Dine-In



   

Larchmont Bungalow Violates LAMC

According to the Los Angeles Municipal Code, a sit-down restaurant with a gross floor area of 2,579 square feet should provide 25 parking spaces. Larchmont Bungalow only has seven (7) parking spaces, even as it serves patrons who dine on full meals on the premises.

What's even more brazen is that Larchmont Bungalow does NOT have a permit to operate a restaurant – any kind of restaurant. In 2009, it applied to convert the office building at 107 North Larchmont into a takeout and retail space. The property owner signed a legal affidavit promising the city that there would be no seating for dining. Technically called a "covenant," the notarized affidavit is an instrument used by the Department of Building and Safety in many other instances to guarantee compliance.

When Bungalow opened in October 2009, they did have seating for dining, and so their permit was REVOKED. They appealed, and their APPEAL was DENIED. Instead of working with city agencies to bring the establishment into compliance with the law (i.e., follow the terms of the legal affidavit that was signed), Bungalow decided it could preclude criminal charges by suing the city, saying that the permit was improperly revoked.

Even to this day, Bungalow has NOT received ANY permit from the city that would allow it to operate legally. That is why the city attorney's office has filed criminal charges for its blatant disregard of business requirements that every other restaurant painstakingly fulfills. A date for the criminal trial is scheduled to be set in April 2014.

UPDATE: In a separate criminal case involving fire-code violations endangering the safety of its customers, the court found Larchmont Bungalow guilty. Lawyers for Bungalow had the LLC plead no-contest; it was sentenced to three years' probation in April 2013. 

Address: 107 N Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone number: 323 461-1528   

Bungalow insists on referring to itself as an "award-winning tea importer" despite not having won any award. It also continues its unauthorized use of the Dine Green logo despite being asked by the Green Restaurant Association to desist.

Furthermore, in a meeting with the community, the owners categorically stated that they are a furniture store and that as such, are operating within the conditions of a takeout/retail permit. Their lawyers have also stated in the March 2011 reply brief in the civil suit that they are NOT a sit-down restaurant -- despite serving full meals with proper cutlery to patrons who leisurely consume their food on the premises.




BARGAIN HUNTERS FORM LINES OUT THE DOOR


Groupon: 4,417 deals purchased on February 8, 2011

1,863 Living Social coupons purchased on December 10, 2010


1,556 Living Social coupons purchased on July 27, 2010
 

341 Living Social coupons purchased on February 25, 2010

Total: 8,177 coupons since February 25, 2010 – all with the Larchmont Bungalow's stipulation that the coupons can only be used for dine in, and not take out.




Larchmont Bungalow Cafe and Bakery


   

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