Tag Archives: larchmont bungalow

Larchmont Bungalow Parking

TIMELINE OF EVENTS: LARCHMONT BUNGALOW’S VIOLATIONS OF THE LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL CODE

May 2009
Bungalow is cleared under the special “Q” zoning conditions of Larchmont Village. They are cleared because their permit application is for that of a retail/takeout establishment, not a sit-down restaurant.

June 2009
An affidavit is signed by a Larchmont Bungalow representative stating that the establishment would operate as a take-out and not have seating for dine-in.  Technically called a “covenant,” the legal affidavit is an instrument used by the Department of Building and Safety to guarantee compliance. Bungalow is allowed to have only seven (7) parking spaces as long as it provides no seating for dining and operates only as a takeout place. This is because a sit-down restaurant with Bungalow’s gross floor area would require twenty-five (25) parking spaces.

October 2009
Larchmont Bungalow opens with only a takeout/retail license but operates as a sit-down restaurant. The Department of Building and Safety revokes the certificate of occupancy because of the violation.

December 2009
An appeal by Larchmont Bungalow is denied, thereby upholding the validity of the signed affidavit. The establishment’s permit and occupancy certificate that are required for businesses to operate are revoked.

February 2010
Larchmont Bungalow starts a Living Social deal involving dine-in only coupons for bargain hunters. They have since negotiated to honor more than 8,000 coupons, all with the stipulation that they can only be used for dining in.

March 2010
Assistant City Attorney Tina Hess files criminal charges against Larchmont Bungalow. The three counts are failing to comply with a city agency; providing false information; and continuing to operate without a certificate of occupancy.

June 2011
The criminal arraignment is again continued, to September 8th.

Source for timeline: LarchmontLA

Ever since the Bungalow group entered the village and started “investments” in the community,  the congestion has become severe. If there was ever a case in which  the city’s laws have to be followed in order to preserve the character of an area, it would be this case. There’s a reason laws are put into place.

An investor cannot arbitrarily decide to build establishments that don’t provide parking spaces required under rules and calculations that are applied consistently citywide.

Government has a legislated procedure for handling the circumstances under which particular businesses are allowed to operate. The Department of Building and Safety did its parking analysis for this property and structure; it required a covenant, as it has in many other instances. Every food establishment in the mid-Wilshire area, even the small family restaurants, painstakingly fulfill whatever is required of them under the law.

It is NOT FAIR that an entity be exempted from the law just because they have the money to hire lawyers to question what was a matter-of-course decision by an administrative agency — more so because operating as a sit-down restaurant as Bungalow has been doing without permit since 2009 is NOT LEGAL; it’s an affront to the law and to those who follow the law. 


Larchmont Bungalow: No Menu? No Seating?

Does the Larchmont Bungalow have an expansive menu or what? Breakfast menu, Lunch menu, Dinner menu… Cake and Pastries menu from Crumb Fairy Bakery in Van Nuys. (Most of their baked goods are not made on site, contrary to what their regular customers have been led to believe.) I laughed after reading the following off the LarchmontLA site.

Do the wealthy Korean-Americans of Hancock Park and Orange County know that they haven’t been eating their $22.95 filet mignon and $21.95 seabass dinners at a restaurant, but at a furniture store?

Larchmont Bungalow a 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.  He also noted that he 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.

 

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A total of 8,177 half-off coupons, each offered with the stipulation that the buyer can only use the coupon for dine-in at Larchmont Bungalow and not for take-out.

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

1,863 Living Social coupons purchased on December 10, 2010
Expires June 10, 2011

1,556 Living Social coupons purchased on July 27, 2010
Expired January 27, 2011

341 Living Social coupons purchased on February 25, 2010
Expired August 25, 2010