La Bottega Marino: Illegal Seating?

UPDATE: With the closure of La Bottega Marino on Larchmont in late February 2013, the property came into compliance of city regulations as of March 14, 2013. Pinches Tacos is expected to take over the space by late March 2013, though there is no definite word on whether they will attempt to put in tables and chairs, as there has been no application for change of use. The last permit for the space, which was given on 03/08/2000, allowed a deli with no seating and no eating on the premises.

– – –

On October 9th 2012, the Department of Building & Safety of the City of Los Angeles received complaints about code violations at 203 N. Larchmont, which is the address of La Bottega Marino.

The complaints alleged the following: (1) Unapproved use of the takeout-only restaurant as a sit-down restaurant; (2) The building or structure is being used or occupied, or its existing occupancy classification has changed, without the issuance of a valid Certificate of Occupancy; and (3) The building has been occupied without first obtaining the required Certificate of Occupancy.

The Department decided that at least the first allegation was true and issued an Order to Comply #3126721, which asked for the chairs at the establishment to be removed. A formal inspection on December 5th showed that dining chairs were still on the premises, and so the property owner was fined $350 — this was paid on February 5th.  An additional $550 fine for continued non-compliance is due to be paid by March 5th.  If there is no resolution, an administrative hearing may be set by mid-March.

The reason this situation even came to light was because Pinches Tacos was preparing to move into the La Bottega Marino space by mid-February; the understanding was that Pinches would be allowed to have more than a few chairs. The Department of Building & Safety however says that they have not received any application for seating or a change of use for 203 N. Larchmont.

161-205-1/2 North Larchmont Blvd., LLC
221-225-1/2 North Larchmont Blvd., LLC
525 South Fairfax Avenue, LLC