The Planning Commission for the City of West Hollywood on Thursday night put off a decision on a request to allow dancing at The Abbey, angering the founder of the popular establishment.
“I have supported the community and my customers for nearly 20 years,” said David Cooley, Founder of The Abbey. “It is disheartening how the City Planning Commission chose to treat The Abbey tonight.”
Cooley said that the commission refused to approve dancing and entertainment at The Abbey because the City Commissioners had not done their research and were unsure on how allowing dancing at The Abbey would impact parking. The Abbey is seeking to use 367 square feet of the 12,000 square foot facility for dancing.
In addition to contacting the press, management for the venue took to Twitter and Facebook to alert their customers and the public to what they claim is unfair treatment and disrespect to someone who has done a tremendous amount for the community.
A press release stated, “After recently announcing plans to be more pro-business, they disrespected business owner David Cooley and what he has done for the City of West Hollywood for the past 20 years, including supporting charities, raising over $1 million for APLA at his annual Oscar event, employing over 190 people at The Abbey, being one of the largest tax revenue generators for our city, creating a tourist destination known around the globe as “The Best Gay Bar in the World” and his continuous support for the LGBT community.”
The agenda item for the Planning Commission said that The Abbey was “requesting an intensification of use from restaurant to bar/nightclub with dancing” and that the recommendation from Planning Department staff was to “approve the application” and adopt a resolution to conditionally approve or amend development, parking and conditional use permits.
The Abbey said that even with support from the community, Sheriff’s Department, Parking Officials, Code Enforcement, Public Safety, The Chamber of Commerce, and City Staff, the Planning Commission still would not approve the change in permitting to allow dancing and entertainment. All of the residents in attendance were in support of the change, but commissioners wanted to speak to additional residents.
We’re told that city staff prepared all of the necessary information for the commissioners, but the commissioners wanted to speak directly to the people who prepared them. At the next hearing on June 16th at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium, the commissioners want live testimony from the Sheriff’s Department and Parking Officials as well as crime statistics for the neighborhood, public safety statistics, additional outreach to the community beyond the required and completed mailing and signage and a complete audit of parking lots in the surrounding areas.
Of those items, it appears that the biggest sticking point was parking. The Abbey says that the commission believes additional parking would be required, though they counter that argument by pointing out that the overall occupancy allowed at the venue is not changing. Plus, we’re also told that city staff explained in the hearing that several hundred parking spots are currently being underused in the new public parking lot as part of the library project nearby.
The Abbey is asking the public to voice their support by contacting Mayor Duran, City Manager Paul Arevalo and Planner Jennifer Alkir. In addition, they are asking the public to participate in the next hearing on June 16th at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium.
The Strange Reality of a WeHo Without a Queer Nightlife Scene
WEST HOLLYWOOD (Los Angeles Magazine) — It was an epidemiologist’s worst nightmare set to the new Justin Timberlake/SZA collab from Trolls World Tour.
L.A. was hours away from shutting down all bars due to the coronavirus pandemic, but you wouldn’t have known it from the typical Sunday chaos on Santa Monica Boulevard, as throngs of people (some shirtless) crammed into West Hollywood gay bars like Mother Lode, Mickey’s, and Rocco’s for one last ungloved hurrah.
At Rocco’s, a drag queen in a black latex leotard bravely swooped her hand down to grab a dollar bill from a customer.
Another performer did the splits, touching the floor ever-so-quickly as she pulled herself up. Go-go dancers valiantly kneeled on bar tops, accepting cash in their […]
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WEST HOLLYWOOD (TimeOut) — This week alone, coronavirus has seen some of our favorite restaurants temporarily close and alter their hours and business models. And with Angelenos heeding authorities and staying home to avoid the virus’s spread, many of the city’s restaurants are adapting with new delivery service , special menus and to-go options. As of today, Employees Only just so happens to freshly deliver cocktail fixings and toilet paper—the real MVPs in a lockdown.
The new service is available through Postmates and includes instructions and ingredients to whip up some of the world-famous cocktail bar’s concoctions; all you’ll need are the spirits and a shaker. And because man cannot survive on cocktails alone, the Employees Only kitchen is offering a handful of dishes […]
R&B, Hip-Hip, Trap & Soul: ‘CLSQ Fridays’ at The Chapel at The Abbey
WEST HOLLYWOOD — Friday nights at The Chapel at The Abbey will have you moving to a different beat beginning March 6.
Formerly a weekly Thursday event at The Chapel, CLSQ Fridays (CLSQ is pronounced “classic”) joins the weekend lineup with celebrity co-hosts, periodic guest performances, and music from 80-90s up through today’s top urban-contemporary RnB & Hip-Hop.
Brandon Anthony, the creator of Summer BASH (Los Angeles’ black gay pride weekend) and producer of LA Pride’s Hip-Hop Stages is bringing classic and contemporary RnB, Hip-Hip, Soul and Trap music to The Chapel with an evening called CLSQ Fridays.
“B.A.S.H. LA is a platform to build community partnerships for fellowship and provide an outlet of inclusivity within LGBTQ community.” said Brandon Anthony. “The Chapel at The Abbey has evenings and events that cater to a variety of LGBTQ people and we’re happy to bring the CLSQ audience and flavor to West Hollywood for a fun Friday night out on the town.”
Each week CLSQ will feature a variety of celebrity co-hosts and notable LGBTQ people of color who advocate for inclusivity and visibility in gayborhoods and mainstream LGBTQ culture around the world, making The Chapel at The Abbey another inclusive space for locals and travelers within the LGBTQ community.
So get ready to turn up the volume and dance.
The grand opening for CLSQ Friday’s at The Chapel at The Abbey will be co-hosted by beauty and fashion power houses Sir John, global makeup artist to Beyonce and Kim Kardashian, and the iconic red carpet designer duo Wayman & Micah who’re recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.
The Chapel at The Abbey also hosts Altar Girl Thursday, produced by Girl Bar. It is Los Angeles’ longest running lesbian entertainment group, and hosts its own evening, Heavenly Bodies Sunday, a night celebrating the transgender and queer communities.
The Chapel at The Abbey is located at 692 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069.
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