UPDATE: Gjelina’s Gjusta, Sauce, Kim’s Market, Rose Cafe

By Roxanne Brown

Gjelina’s Gjusta – 320 Sunset (Fran Camaj, owner; Stephen Vitalich, architect) was cited by Building and Safety on December 19 for being in non-compliance. Gjusta has a permit for Bakery/Take-out/No Eating or Seating on premises. Today is March and Gjusta is still in non-compliance, as it’s been since opening October 2014.
Still no decision on change of use to late night restaurant/bar with full alcohol license. At the November 13 hearing, a parking plan was “missing” and multiple site plans were “confusing.”
LAPD’s Police Captain, Brian Johnson, attended Gjusta’s hearing for change of use on November 13, and told the Zoning Administrator that the LAPD wanted no more liquor licenses in Venice.
The LAPD’s position seems to be in opposition to Bonin’s position. Bonin seems to be advocating for more late night restaurants/bars– more liquor licenses, which results in more crime.
Rather than increasing alcohol outlets and increasing the City budget to hire more police in Venice, Bonin might want to support the LAPD and put a moratorium on liquor licenses in Venice, thus reducing crime and the need for more police, reducing the City budget, and making Venice a safer community.

Sauce – 259 Hampton (Richard Gottlieb, owner; Stephen Vitalich, architect) has a Retail/Take-out permit, but has operated as a sit-down restaurant for five years with no penalty.
After the city had approved change of use for 259 Hampton from “retail/take out” to late night restaurant/bar with full alcohol license, providing no parking, residents won a January 7 appeal. Now there will be a rehearing due to a “missing” audio report and two sets of contradictory, “confusing” plans.
Please attend this important hearing. Your support is vital to prevent reversal.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 1, 2015 @ 4:30
West Los Angeles Planning Commission
Henry Medina West LA
Parking Enforcement Facility
2nd Floor, Roll Call Room
11214 West Exposition Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Richard Gottlieb, owner of 259 Hampton, allegedly pushed Ilana Marosi, President of Concerned Neighbors of 320 Sunset (CNS) and appellant, at 259’s Appeal Hearing. The incident occurred on January 7 at the Henry Medina West LA Parking Enforcement Facility and was openly videotaped. A police report was filed. The assault is under investigation.
At 259’s Hearing, a copy of the Conditional Use Permit-Beverage (CUB) application for liquor license was given to the commissioners. The application form asked whether 259 Hampton was within 1,000 feet of houses of worship, schools, or childcare. Someone answered, “NO.”
That’s quite a “mistake” when Hampton’s 200 block contains the historic synagogue, Temple Mishkon Tephilo with pre-school, St. Joseph’s Center with religious services and day care, and two churches.

Kim’s Market – 600 Mildred (Patricia Searle and Michael Stein, owners; Stephen Vitalich, architect) – Kim’s market closed February 25. Abraham, Joy and their son ran it for 12 years. We hear Searle and Stein will begin running the market and will be trying to convince their customers how wonderful their proposed restaurant with late night hours and full alcohol license will be (providing no on-site restaurant parking – but, possibly valet) at this congested corner, surrounded by residential homes. Their proposed restaurant was not approved by the Venice Neighborhood Council.

Rose Café – 220 Rose (Bill Chait, Kamal Kapur, Manhar Patel, owners) is morphing into a late night restaurant/bar with full alcohol license.
Local media reported that former employees (some with 10 and 20 plus years of service at the Rose Café) were being let go and given no seniority preference when re-applying to work at the new establishment.
After much local public protest, press is now reporting that “employees can work within the Sprout restaurant network” until they reapply at the Rose.
We hear there will be many more customers and significantly less parking. The long-time parking attendant told a Rose Café customer that he most likely won’t be rehired as the Rose will have valet parking.

GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY: Do unto others as you would have them do onto you?
These new business owners claim to be good neighbors. But, many Venice residents want to know how can one be a good neighbor when one proposes late night restaurants/bars with full alcohol licenses and no or limited parking three feet to thirteen to fifteen feet (Kim’s, Gjusta, Sauce) from residents’ homes?
Would owners Camaj, Gottlieb, Searle, and Stein or elected officials Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mike Bonin want a late night restaurant bar to be open seven days a week 3 feet to 15 feet from their or their children’s bedroom windows?
Do these owners not care about the employees who worked so hard to make the Rose Café and Kim’s Market into neighborhood magnets, when owners are willing to toss those employees (who built a loyal customer base) aside?
Under Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mike Bonin, Los Angeles seems to have turned into the wild Wild West where developers have discovered they can do whatever they want without penalty. Many LA neighborhood associations are suing the City – so many that the City is outsourcing lawyers. Something appears to be very wrong. A “correction” is needed.
It seems Mayor Garcetti’s administration and Councilman Bonin’s office will reward developers and approve a change of use when developers disregard permits and laws and yes, even when there are blatant “mistakes” on application forms.
Meanwhile, Garcetti and Bonin want to extend their terms to 5 ½ years and continue to promote their self-proclaimed campaign of “Neighborhoods first with safe and fun streets.”
Many in Venice are wondering if LA can afford Mayor Garcetti’s and Councilman Bonin’s current terms in office, as City Hall policy seems to have run amok.


Above: Sauce on Hampton

Below: Gjusta on Sunset