Yogurt Stop owners Marta Knittel and Shoshana Joseph continue to try to work with their landlord on an acceptable solution. A forced mediation took place this past week. The owners of the property are Joanne Nathan, Robin Iiotta, Patt Sefton-Hoffen, Yank Sefton and Warren Sefton. Nathan and Iiotta are sisters, and the Seftons are siblings. The owners inherited the building from their parents who were partners and operate as a 50/50 partnership.
Yogurt Stop, the original ‘Pump it Yourself’ West Hollywood favorite, located at 8803 Santa Monica Blvd., is finding lots of ruffles in their plan to sell the business. The shop was placed for sale, and secured a financially capable buyer.
The business was sold for close to the asking price of $875,000. The transfer of the lease requires landlord approval. The prospective buyer was then turned down by the landlord.
In 2018, when Yogurt Stop went to renew their lease, they asked for permission to expand their use to include “incidentals.” In 2019, the pandemic hit. The shop started selling PPE items and expanded their footprint to the approved outdoor areas per the City of West Hollywood “Outzone” program. The Landlord has accused the tenant of being “in default” of their lease for selling potato chips along with other non-yogurt items.
Yogurt stops pays close to $9,000/mo. in rent. The space next door to Yogurt Stop, ‘Unity’, is for lease, with the asking price of $6,500 for a similar size space. The building which extends up Palm Ave., houses ‘Hollywood Burger’ (which has remained empty for more than four years), ‘Unity’ (now empty), ‘Kale Me Krazy’ (new tenant which sells smoothies and Acai bowls, in direct competition with Yogurt Stop; is not yet open), ‘Sean Patric’k store (now empty) and the ‘London Fromson’ space located at 807 Palm (also empty). Ajisai, a Sushi restaurant located at 809 Palm, is the only other open business within the building. The same landlord also owns the old ‘Cafe D’Etoile’ space and ‘Organic Ice Cream’ shop that is now being combined to open the new ‘Stache’ club. It appears that the Yogurt Stop and Ajisai are the only businesses “open” on the boulevard despite this landlords oversight of almost 10 retail storefronts in the Rainbow District.
Unity, located next door to the Yogurt Stop has been closed for almost a year. Then owner ‘Lily’ was able to secure a buyer for her location and asked same landlord for approval. When the landlord denied the transfer of the lease to the new buyer “Unity” was forced to close. The business had been sold for $100,000. No tenant has occupied the space since.
Prospective tenants to occupy the space also included the owner of BlockParty, Larry Block. Block attempted to secure the Sean Patrick location located at 803 Palm Ave as a guarantor on the lease on behalf of his employee Nick Rose. Rose, “the drunken barber,” was the 2nd runner up in the WEHOville’s Best of 2020 hair salons and this would be his first free standing salon. Block again attempted to rent the shop located on both sides of the Yogurt Stop for above asking price for a footwear business and was denied approval on both spaces. The landlord continued to keep those spaces empty. Block is also the majority owner of this publication.
Mediation ended with ‘No Comment’ from landlord Joanne Nathan, and “We cannot comment” from both Yogurt Stop owners. It appears the Yogurt Stop owners have been denied the transfer of the lease and sale of the business. Yogurt Stop’s lease is up for renewal in early 2023.