WeHo Planning Commission Approves Stache Restaurant and Nightclub in Boystown

Stache (rendering by RCDF Studio)

With a unanimous vote Thursday night, West Hollywood’s Planning Commission approved a new nightclub in the Boystown area.

Stache, located at 8941 Santa Monica Blvd., at Robertson Boulevard, will combine the two spaces previously occupied by the now closed Café D’Etoile and Bumsan Organic Milk Bar into one 4,000 square-foot space.

Stache will primarily be a vegan restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, but will offer live entertainment at night like drag queen bingo, drag shows, karaoke and more. The owners also hope to do more unusual events like hosting small film festivals, poetry readings and book club meetings.

At night, the venue will also move some tables in the rear seating area away to have a small dance floor, hence the need for the nightclub license.

“Stache is a queer neighborhood restaurant and bar where everyone is welcome,” said Ryan Floyd, one of the owners. “Even in our community sometime, we have an underrepresentation of women, lesbians and our trans community. We want to make a statement tonight that this place is a queer place and not another gay bar.”

Floyd explained the name Stache comes from “mustache,” something gay men of the 1970s and 1980s routinely sported. The name was chosen as a tribute to gay men who died of AIDS as well as a celebration of the “resilience and perseverance” of the LGBTQ community.

The Commission was impressed, Commissioner Stacey Jones saying the design was beautiful. Commissioner Lynn Hoopingarner loved that it was open and accessible.

Marquita Thomas taking the oath of office to join Planning Commission.

Newly sworn in Commissioner Marquita Thomas praised the project for helping to revitalize that section of Santa Monica Boulevard and was happy it would be an LGBTQ business.

“As a chamber leader, a leader of an LGBTQ chamber of commerce, I know better than most that 50% of our LGBT business will not be coming back, so to see another one open is wonderful,” said Thomas. “Not only will it revitalize that section of West Hollywood, it will also create jobs.”

Katrina Vinson taking the oath of office to join Planning Commission

Commissioner Katrina Vinson, also newly sworn in, was glad a different type of venue was coming to that part of town and happy to see such diversity of events proposed.

During public comment, several residents living in the nearby Norma Triangle neighborhood spoke against the project, mostly concerned about the noise it could create that might be heard in the neighborhood.

Although Stache has several noise abatement measures included in the plans, the Commission did require the venue come back for reviews at three months, six months and one year after opening to makes sure there are no noise issues.

Commissioner Rogerio Carvalheiro recused himself from the hearing because he is the project architect.

The Commission also voted to make Commissioner Lynn Hoopingarner the new vice chair, replacing the former vice chair, John Erickson, who left the Commission after he was elected to the City Council.

Before that vote on the vice chair, Commission Chair Adam Bass apologized for the politicized nature of the last time the Commission voted for a new vice chair, saying he regretted how it was handled.

During that vice chair vote in July 2020, Erickson caused waves when he took the unprecedented move of nominating himself to be vice chair, even though Hoopingarner was next in line for the position in terms of seniority. The seven commissioners then voted 4-3 along gender lines for Erickson as vice chair – all the male commissioners voted for Erickson, all the female commissioners voted for Hoopingarner.

At the start of Thursday’s meeting, City Councilmember John D’Amico administered the oath of office to his appointee, Marquita Thomas. Similarly, Councilmember Sepi Shyne administered the oath to her appointee, Katrina Vinson. With them sworn in, the Planning Commission now has a female majority for the first time ever.

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WeHo Conscience
WeHo Conscience
1 month ago

I’m glad they made the effort to provide the definition of ‘Stache.’

Most would be lost without it since no one would be familiar with a mustache.

And it makes all the difference to the project value, particularly the trivializing of those lost to AIDS.
( /sarcasm)

Very Concerned Citizen
Very Concerned Citizen
1 month ago

The vote for chair/vice chair happened LAST July and Chair Bass is just now making an apology? I question his sincerity versus the timing of this considering appointments/reappointments are this coming up this February.
His “apology” is as self serving as Erickson’s nomination of himself! This is not what I hoped for when community asks for “transparency “!

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago

To say that the last vote on the Commission’s vice-chair was “mishandled” is certainly an understatement, I supposed an apology was a step toward making amends. But for the apology to appear to be sincere, I would think that Mr. Bass would owe the public an explanation as to why he now regrets his vote and provide some clarity as to why he voted as he did in the first place.

Vigilant
Vigilant
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Current Council Member John Erickson was also involved in this debacle. Both he and Commissioner Adam Bass owe Ms. Hoopengarner and the public a formal written and public apology. This is not the type of juvenile behavior the residents and the city expect or deserve. Additionally, they both should take advantage of the nearest course in Ethics.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Vigilant

Deserve? No. Expect? Well, remember the story about the scorpion and the frog?

Vigilant
Vigilant
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

Another way of looking at this is, perhaps we get who we deserve by not advocating authentic, high standards. Public service once was a noble art form and now it has become a pathway to other pathways feathering one’s own nest.

I’ve often heard council members and commissioners comment: “well, we don’t get paid very much”. The whole idea is service, not grift and graft. Service aligns itself with skill and honor.

WeHoMikey
WeHoMikey
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Steve Martin – the citizens of WeHo are even more entitled to hear Mr. Erickson explain himself – although now that he was elected to council, I doubt that’ll ever happen. Duran-II.

Rick Scott
Rick Scott
1 month ago

I’m not sure, but I suspect Monte Overstreet is the owner of this property. I sure hope the people opening up Stache are aware of his reputation. I think all of the now-closed gay bars in WeHo had one thing in common; Monte Overstreet owns the property. (Except maybe for Gym Bar.)

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
1 month ago
Reply to  Rick Scott

You’re not only “not sure”, you’re wrong.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Rick Scott

Monte Overstreet does not own this property; it is owned by Joanne Nathan, who also owns the properties were Yogurt Stop is located. Nathans is a nightmare of a landlord and has been harassing the owners of Yogurt Stop, a Boy’s Town institution, for years. Some of these landlords have such an irresponsible sense of entitlement and they can’t see that thriving businesses make good tenants. This is why the City’s commercial property mediation program is a farce; certain landlords can’t understand why you have to work with business tenants rather than treat your property as a cash cow.

Bill G Skywatcher
Bill G Skywatcher
1 month ago

Has the Planning Commission ever really planned anything? All they ever seem to do is give the green light to developers and claw back on previously agreed upon projects when neighbors object. That’s NOT a planning commission, it’s a developer rotary club.

Vigilant
Vigilant
1 month ago

Funny you should mention that. This afternoon while discarding files I came across the resumes of current and former commissioners, an astonishing read and of course saved them. Scant knowledge appears to be the norm overshadowed by calculated moves to build one’s civic resume or their potential resume as a developer’s lobbyist. The city could and should offer seminars that would be open to commissioners, staff and the public. Taking an interest in the micro/macro environment around us would enable residents to discuss projects in a fruitful way. This is 1.9 square miles not Manhattan. Meanwhile they might read a… Read more »

FJ1
FJ1
1 month ago
Reply to  Vigilant

I don’t know about the commissioners that have been serving for a while but the two newest additions have zero experience/education in urban planning. One has a background in construction (building is very different from planning) and one has an arts degree (🙄). Not the most qualified, in my humble opinion.

Jerome Cleary
Jerome Cleary
1 month ago

Maybe they should change the name to: Moustache Rides….LOL!

Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago

Mr Erickson sounds like a wonderful self-promoter.

FJ1
FJ1
1 month ago
Reply to  Joshua88

That he is.

WeHoMikey
WeHoMikey
1 month ago
Reply to  Joshua88

you’ve noticed?

Miguel Sanchez
Miguel Sanchez
1 month ago

This place doesnt know what it wants to be. Vegan, karaoke, dance club with poetry and drag queens. Bye.

Last edited 1 month ago by Miguel Sanchez
olen
olen
1 month ago
Reply to  Miguel Sanchez

lol! i fell out

Gene Bivins
Gene Bivins
1 month ago
Reply to  Miguel Sanchez

What’s wrong, exactly, with a combination of all those?

FJ1
FJ1
1 month ago
Reply to  Gene Bivins

When a business has no clear focus on its concepts it usually means it’s doomed. You can’t throw everything in but the kitchen sink and hope that some thing sticks.

C.R.
C.R.
1 month ago
Reply to  FJ1

It will sort itself out so long as they have enough cash to hang in there for a while, just like Flaming Saddles did in their successful run before the pandemic. A lot of bars have to change it up concept wise after opening if something isn’t flowing right.

Weho Truth Talk
Weho Truth Talk
1 month ago
Reply to  Miguel Sanchez

I think it will be fine. When things fully reopen, people are going to be going crazy at these places and Stache will get enough money.

Curtis Beers
Curtis Beers
1 month ago

I do not like the name. It sounds as bad as Milk Bar (that lasted 5 minutes) & Kock Dog (whatever that place was called).

FJ1
FJ1
1 month ago
Reply to  Curtis Beers

And the logo looks like it’s Lyft’s headquarters.

Jason K
Jason K
1 month ago

Given were they are located I don’t think they will be having poetry readings for very long. In the nightlife district people want strong drinks and music. Not poetry and book club meetings.

FJ1
FJ1
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason K

It was a joke. Commission bought into it. Hook, line and sinker.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
1 month ago

LOL

Jose
Jose
1 month ago

In it’s current form, I think the only noise coming out of this place will be the bad poetry readings and book club discussions. Hopefully they’ll figure out what they want to be before opening day. Right now it sounds like the Women And Women First Bookstore on Portlandia.

FJ1
FJ1
1 month ago
Reply to  Jose

What gay is going to hear poetry reading on a dance floor? Gimme a break. There’s everything in this concept but the kitchen sink. That’s why it was so important for them to get the approval for a night club. If all else fails…remove the tables and bring in the go go boys. This commission ate up every buzz word and woke concept that was presented. What we’re left with is more of the same.

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
1 month ago
Reply to  FJ1

I’d like to see puppet shows for kids too. Family friendly.

FJ1
FJ1
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

😆

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