UPDATE: After years of lying to the community and to city officials, the notorious Larchmont Bungalow has finally closed its doors.
Congratulations to the City Attorney’s office for its successful upholding of the law.
To date, the Bungalow has pleaded no contest to several criminal charges. It opened in 2009 without a restaurant permit after promising the community that it would not open a sit-down restaurant because there were no parking spaces, among other issues.
The self-declared Larchmont Bungalow owner Ken Bernard told the Wilshire Neighborhood Council that the business was a furniture store, despite serving meals on the premises. He also called the police on a Larchmont LA reporter who was covering the case.
Instead of simply making arrangements to conform to city laws the way other businesses do, the restaurant needlessly prolonged the case over the years in the court system.
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 had seven (7) parking spaces, even as it was serving patrons who dine on full meals on the premises.
EXCERPT OF COVERAGE FROM 2010…
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When Bungalow opened in October 2009, they did have seating for dining, and so their permit was REVOKED.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 the fall of 2013.
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.
Manager: Prima Gonzalez. Operations manager: Sasha Urbelis
Address: 107 N Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone number: 323 461-1528
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.
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