If you’ve been following the preservation/gentrification wars in LA, you’ll want to read the piece just published on LAist about the impending eviction of the Good Luck Bar in Los Feliz. Residents are trying to fight a developer who has plans to create a boutique hotel on the site and a petition is being circulated in the hope that the bar can be preserved.
The article on LAist makes the point that the Good Luck Bar opened up as part of an earlier cycle of change in Los Feliz, and that cities are constantly evolving. The bar’s current owner made money by catering to a new crowd that was moving to the neighborhood back in the 90s, and he’s currently involved in a revamp of the Chelsea Hotel in New York. Old bars close, new ones open, and nothing lasts forever.
But having said that, there are some other issues here that make it sound like the community has been played, and I don’t blame them for being angry. According to the article, when the boutique hotel was presented to the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council in 2014, apparently the developer, Conroy, assured residents that the Good Luck Bar would remain. The LFNC ultimately voted to support the project, based in part on those assurances. But the article goes on to report that the Good Luck Bar has been trying to renew its lease since 2016 and that the developer has simply ignored them. Then last year, Conroy asked the owner of the bar to turn over the liquor license. Understandably, Good Luck refused. To me it sounds like the developer is trying to capitalize on the existing business without offering anything in return.
The Los Feliz Neighborhood Council will be talking about this at their meeting tonight at the Elysian Masonic Lodge. Here’s the motion….
MOTION: Approve a resolution expressing concern over the eviction of Good Luck Bar and calling on the city to invalidate any permits or approvals previously given to the proposed project on the site.
And here’s the full agenda. Should be an interesting meeting.
Here’s the article from LAist. An excellent breakdown of a complicated situation. And one more chapter in the messy story of how our neighborhoods are being remade.