WILSHIRE BLVD — The saga of The Parlor appears to have come to an end, with angry Santa Monica residents standing in the winners’ circle and the owners of the troubled bar and restaurant heading for the hills — or at least for Hollywood.
The establishment, located at 1519 Wilshire Blvd., announced via Facebook over the weekend that it had closed and directed patrons to a new location on Melrose Avenue, apparently ending a years-long feud with neighboring residents who complained the bar was attracting a rowdy late night crowd and violating conditions of its conditional use permit (CUP).
The closure came after The Parlor re-opened for the first game of the NFL season last Thursday, only to be met with a visit from a City Hall code compliance officer who wrote a citation for —among other violations — failing to enclose an upstairs patio as required under the CUP.
Silas Gaither, a part owner of the business, could not be reached on Monday. A message on the bar’s Facebook page said City Hall’s regulations made it virtually impossible for the bar to remain in business.
City Hall’s code compliance administrator, Mike Magdaleno, also could not be reached.
A message from Councilman Kevin McKeown, who has played an active role in City Hall’s dealings with the establishment, though, appeared to spell the end of the line for The Parlor: “The city will not allow continued violations. The Parlor is busted,” he wrote in an e-mail to area residents.
He added: “We went through months of due process and gave The Parlor every opportunity to run a successful restaurant in compliance with the law. [Thursday’s] action is not only a relief for the neighbors, but lets our many local businesses who play by the rules know that we won’t let them be subject to unfair competition by scofflaws.”
Friction between The Parlor and residents in the surrounding neighborhood began shortly after the business opened in 2007.
Contentious Planning Commission and City Council hearings ensued this year, with heavyweight attorney Chris Harding at one point working for the bar’s landlord.
In the end, though, residents of the Wilmont neighborhood had more sway than the bar’s owners with the City Council, which this summer slapped additional restrictions on the business, including a requirement to close by 11 p.m. on weekdays and by midnight on weekends.
Gaither last month said the restaurant planned to stay open, but the latest citation from City Hall apparently was too much.
In an illustration of how contentious the disagreement has been, on Monday a group of neighbors who live near the shuttered bar said they were planning to file a police report in connection with a comment that appeared on The Parlor’s Facebook page they interpreted as a threat.
The comment, attributed to Neil Nigrelli, was in response to a message that mentioned the bar’s reduced operating hours: “Dude! I cant believe it! I know it must’ve been that b…h around the corner. I know where she lives if you want me to come take care of it!!” the message read.
One of the neighbors, who asked not to be named out of concern for her safety, said she had already been in contact with the Santa Monica Police Department and planned to file a formal complaint on Monday.
She said while residents who live near The Parlor are pleased City Hall took action that led to the bar’s closure, there was still some uneasiness about the possibility The Parlor could re-open.
“We’re not out there celebrating. The whole thing has been exhausting over the years,” she said. “Until they move their things out of the neighborhood, none of us are comfortable.”