Another One Bites the Dust: Can Good Luck Bar Be Saved?

Good Luck Bar

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.

Los Feliz Neighborhood Council Agenda, April 30, 2019

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.

Good Luck Bar Is Closing After 25 Years. Can Los Feliz Save It?



Another One Bites the Dust

Oswald Bartlett House, Los Feliz

Oswald Bartlett House, Los Feliz

Got this in my e-mail this morning. More bad new for those who care about LA’s history.

Press Advisory, Immediate Release


Reprieve Denied: Historic Oswald Bartlett House Goes Down Today

WHAT: Demolition of the 100-year-old Oswald Bartlett House is set to begin today and members of the community are expected to be present to document and bear witness to the house’s undeserved and sad destruction in the middle of the season when Jews and Christians celebrate – instead of destroy – their history and traditions.

WHEN: Demolition work is set to begin at 7 am, today, Thursday, December 18, 2014.

WHERE: 1829 N. Kenmore Ave., Los Angeles – the Los Feliz neighborhood

BACKGROUND: The Oswald Bartlett House has been recognized by preservationists as a pristine and rare example of architect A.C. Martin’s work. Martin, one of Los Angeles’ leading architects in the first half of the 20th century, designed LA City Hall and a half-dozen other notable structures now designated as landmarks. The Bartlett House was designed by Martin for a friend and is a rare example of Martin’s youthful work in domestic design; his more lasting reputation was founded on his design of major public and religious buildings. Despite the recognition by experts of the cultural and historic significance of the Bartlett House, City Hall turned a deaf ear to the experts (including the LA Conservancy) and community’s appeals to spare the house from demolition to make way for a six-unit townhome project whose building entitlements were gained through misrepresentations about the historic nature of the Bartlett House. Last Wednesday the City Council gave the developer, a business ally of one of Mayor Garcetti’s top campaign fundraisers, the green-light to proceed with demolition. Today the sledgehammers and bobcats will start taking the house down.

For Additional Information Contact:
John Schwada, MediaFix Associates
310 709-0056
310 597-9345 w

So one more historic building bites the dust. Garcetti seems determined to let developers have their way, no matter the cost to the city’s cultural heritage. Some of you may remember that the Mole-Richardson building on La Brea was recently demolished, in spite of the fact that it was a classic art deco building by Morgan, Walls and Clements. If you missed that story, here’s a link to a piece on Curbed.

Art Deco Buidling Destroyed

Other historic structures currently being threatened are the Warner Pacific Theatre, the Mosaic Church, and the Chase Bank building at the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights. But who cares about history, when you can have a shiny, new mixed-use skyscraper?

The photo of the Oswald Bartlett House was taken by Michael Locke, who has spent a fair amount of time documenting the Los Feliz area. To see more of his work, click on the link below.

Michael Locke at Flickr