According to an online real estate listing, Pinches Tacos take out restaurant space is for lease. But Pinches doesn’t want to leave Larchmont. So why the advertisement?
Owner Miguel Anaya told the Buzz they are exploring their options because of the City’s aggressive enforcement of the Larchmont “Q” conditions that restrict the number of sit-down restaurants on the street. According to Anaya, the city has ” basically threatened us with criminal activity if we did not remove all of our chairs and tables.”
Shortly after opening in 2013, Anaya appeared before the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council Land Use Committee asking for support and found a sympathetic ear but to no avail. He has become completely disheartened by the treatment he has received from the City.
“We’ve tried to deal with this as best as we can including going to the neighborhood councils and meeting with our council member to no abide. Actually the neighborhood council agreed that the ordinance was outdated but that does us no good as we are paying the price of it’s over aggressive enforcement,” said Anaya.
“”We are not rushing to lease the space but instead we are just trying to see if we could afford to get out of the lease,” explained Anya.
When Pinches Tacos opened on Larchmont four years ago, the Buzz reported they were offering take out and a fast serve option but quickly ran into complications with Larchmont’s “Q” Conditions that restrict the number of sit-down restaurants. As a result, there are no tables and chairs in the restaurant only a counter where people can stand to wait for their orders. Not surprising, the advertisement for the space clearly states:
“TO GO ONLY!! (No Seating) NNN = Approx. $0.65 PSF per month Existing To Go Food Use Opportunity (Currently Pinches Tacos). Incredibly rare opportunity to have an existing food use space available in Larchmont Village is available for $9.00 /sf/month” bringing the monthly rent for the just over 900 square foot space to $8,316.00 per month!
Ironically, Pinches who is currently complying with the City is being forced to consider closing but the Larchmont Bungalow who is being prosecuted by the City for failing to comply with the vary same rules continues to operate unfettered. The criminal case against the Bungalow was filed over 7 years ago and the Bungalow argued it was being unfairly targeted even though they signed a covenant with the City promising not to have table and chairs and operate as a take-out only. The Bungalow case continues to be delayed through all manner of legal tactics employed by the Bungalow’s lawyers. The latest of which followed the death of owner Albert Mizrahi. They claimed they needed additional time to name another corporate officer and scored the restaurant another three month delay until Thursday of this week.
“To be honest, we feel unfairly picked on because at last count, there are 18-19 businesses serving food and beverage who also have seating,” said Anaya. “We do not want to pick a fight with the city because we are a family owned business and not a deep pocketed corporation. This is our livelihood.”
Anaya is genuinely torn because his customers have been very supportive of the restaurant, some even sitting on the floor!
The Buzz has reported numerous stories on the impact of “Q” conditions and the lack of enforcement. Maybe it’s time for you, our readers, neighbors, the neighborhood council and our city Council member to review the “Q” Conditions and see if they are creating the Larchmont we want. We’d like to know what you think. We also invite you to share your thoughts with CD4 Councilmember David Ryu, who would need to lead any effort to change the ordinance.