On Thursday night, the City of West Hollywood Planning Commission approved unanimously to issue a new Conditional Use Permit for a new bar on 8275 Santa Monica Blvd. This permit would include the sales, service, and on-site consumption of food and alcoholic beverages.
The 1,600-square-foot project, called “Monica’s House,” will be housed within a commercial space built in 1925 that was previously occupied by a restaurant. Additionally, this proposal is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Section 15303, as it only requires minor modifications to a small structure.
According to City Staff and project applicant Jay Handal, Monica’s House will diversify dining and entertainment alternatives in West Hollywood, resulting in additional jobs and revenue to the city. The area is mostly designated for commercial use, and the project meets all Zoning Ordinances.
During the meeting, City of West Hollywood Associate Planner Roger Rath explained in detail the floor plan for Monica’s House, which has occupancy for 41 people. It consists of a main counter with seating, as well as a few two-seat tables and booths. The bar does not include a dance floor and will not offer live entertainment or outdoor seating.
A four-stall bathroom will be shared with the adjacent tenant in the building, a cannabis and edibles consumption lounge. Both businesses will be owned by Handal, and will be treated as separate entities.
“The cannabis lounge is one organization and the bar is a separate one. That’s California law – they have to be separate. They have to have separate addresses, and they have to be well-secured,” said Handal.
Handal added that security will be present in the hallway where the bathroom will be located, to ensure no traffic between the cannabis lounge and the bar.
“There will be a security guard posted there the entire time the location is open, so that nobody will be able to go through from one end to another. If you are in the bar, you are in the bar, and if you are in the cannabis area, you are in the cannabis area, but there will be no going through with alcohol or cannabis to either location” he said.
Hours of operation would be from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily, which is similar to other nearby bars. City staff is recommending for alcohol sales at Monica’s Place to end at 1:30 a.m., so patrons have enough time to consume their beverages and leave the premises by closing time.
Commissioners are optimistic, and Vice Chair Marquita Thomas, who lives within a few blocks, believes the area will benefit tremendously from this venture.
“I’m actually happy to see this bar coming, because it brings life and vitality to center city. It will have a positive impact on public safety. It’s job creation. I live on Harper, so it works for me, and in general I’m in favor of the project” said Thomas.