Larchmont Bungalow Violates LA's Municipal Code

Reprinted with permission to modify from LarchmontLA.com

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 has seven (7) parking spaces, even as it serves patrons who leisurely consume full meals on the premises.

What's even more brazen is that Larchmont Bungalow does NOT have a permit to operate 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. It is technically called a "covenant" and it is an instrument used by the Department of Building and Safety in many other instances to guarantee compliance.

After opening as a sit-down restaurant, Bungalow's permit was revoked. They filed an appeal, which was denied because their violations were clear, flagrant, and photographically documented in two separate instances.

Instead of working with city agencies to bring the establishment into compliance with the law, Bungalow decided it could preclude criminal charges by suing the city, arguing that the permit was improperly revoked.

Among the reasons floated around the neighborhood as to why the revocation was improper? The signer did not know what he was signing because of a blood disease he was afflicted with.

In a meeting with the neighborhood, Bungalow categorically stated that they are a furniture store, and as such, operating within the conditions of their takeout/retail permit. You go into that establishment with a seating capacity for 60 people and watch seated customers leisurely eating seabass dinners with forks and knives, and you decide whether that is a furniture store.

Bungalow's legal maneuver of filing a civil suit against the city has caused this issue to drag out this long.  The criminal case and the civil case are still waiting to be decided in the courts.  In the meantime, Bungalow is operating as though no laws have been broken, as though no blatant lies have been spoken to the community. Outsiders unaware of this issue are patronizing the only restaurant in the mid-Wilshire area that is openly operating without a permit.

Next time you complain that there isn't any parking on Larchmont south of Beverly, think of the place where you sit down to eat neon blue pancakes. If it were a legal restaurant, it would have 25 parking spaces. It has only seven, and that is why you have a parking problem.

Reference: Summary of LAMC Parking Regulations (PDF)