LOS FELIZ—Patrons of Good Luck Bar rallied against it’s closure after the current tenants were evicted and forced to close its doors on Saturday, May 4.
Good Luck Bar posted on Instragram that the final day of business would be May 4. A 17-room boutique hotel is anticipated to be built over the bar by local real estate developer Conroy Commercial Real Estate.
“The fact that Los Feliz residents only learned about Conroy’s plans to evict Good Luck a few weeks before it happened is wrong,” said USC Annenberg Senior Ev Boyle in a petition he started on Change.org. The petition aimed to bring awareness to the importance of keeping the bar and demanded more transparency from developers. Local elected officials took notice.
The Los Feliz Neighborhood Council (LFNC) held a special meeting on April 30 and unanimously approved a resolution over the concern on the eviction of Good Luck Bar, calling on the Los Angeles City Council to invalidate any permits or approvals previously given to the proposed project on the site. The LFNC voted in 2014 to support the development, but no public discussion transpired until recently. LFNC President Linda Demmers assured the community that neither Good Luck nor the Vista Theatre would be impacted by the construction of the new hotel.
Despite the council stepping in, plans appear to be moving forward on Conroy’s hotel without any interruptions.
“Based on my conversations with City Councilmember David Ryu’s office, the LFNC resolution is mostly symbolic and will not stop the development of [the] hotel,” said Boyle. “Still, this clear and unequivocal statement that the community wants Good Luck Bar to remain is important and could have an impact on the developer.”
Good Luck Bar is part of the building purchased by Conroy Commercial, but it was never part of the permits for the hotel project and will not be immediately impacted by construction. At the council meeting, the community were reassured that the bar would not be immediately demolished or impacted by this construction.
While the bar’s fate remains in question, the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) attempted to preserve Good Luck Bar in their own way. A GoFundMe campaign was trending for moving the Good Luck Neon sign to their Museum with the goal sitting at $3,600 with $1,486 raised in six days.
“Brad Conroy screwed over the neighborhood by destroying a icon,” said Eric Lynxwiler, volunteer for MONA to Canyon News. According to Wiler, Brad Conroy, of Conway Commercial, made arrangements to donate the sign to MONA but backed out on May 9 to keep the sign as a personal souvenir. ” We raised money in good faith.” At the time of writing, Lynxwiler said he is considering options on what to do with the funds donated so far including asking donators if they would like to pass on their donations to a general museum’s sign preservation fund.
Sources from the bar told Lynxwiler that Good Luck Bar’s name was not sold when they were evicted and there are rumors Conroy is keeping the sign to reface it when he reopens the bar in 2 years at the hotel. ” That’s hideous and disgusting,” said Lynxwiler. “It’s will be in name only, Conroy is fooling himself if he thinks otherwise.”
Lynxwiler took the opportunity to visit the bar with friends one last time, on the day prior of its closure. “We grabbed 3 bar stools and knocked back more than enough cocktails that night,” said Lynxwiler. Lynxwiler will miss one of his favorite cocktails The Yee Mee Loo. “It was a original cocktail named after the historic Chinatown bar that inspired the Good Luck interior design.” The Good Luck was a timeward experience. It was designed to look like an original piece of the 1930s and it succeeded in every detail. It was not just a theme bar, The sign was a precursor as there were no neon signs in 1994. Good Luck did it. No other experience like it.”
Lynxwiler said he hasn’t been this disappointed in the treatment of a neon sign since the process of restoring and acquiring the 37-foot neon dragon from outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. It was promised to MONA by the owners, but they also did not follow through with the promise and dumped the signs in a storage yard for 10 years and it was recycled for scrap. ” It was a giant pile of crap when it was received,” said Lynxwiler. “Neglecting a sign is not preservation or maintenance. Neon signs are not cheap,” referring to the $35,000 that was needed for restoration.
Conroy Commercial Real Estate refused to comment to Canyon News.
The LA dive bar, located at 1514 Hillhurst Ave. in Los Feliz, was originally established in 1994 by business partners Sean MacPherson and Jon Sidel.
The bar has a Chinese inspired design with red highlights motif wallpaper, complimenting Chinatown’s classic, Yee Moo Loo Bar themes. Dragons were placed everywhere with bright red Chinese lanterns, and a Buddhist temple.