Monica’s House wins approval from Planning Commission

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.

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Joshua88
Joshua88
21 days ago

When is it supposed to open?

Joshua88
Joshua88
21 days ago

This sounds like a lovely neighborhood bar. Must check it out!

Lost Main Street
Lost Main Street
22 days ago

Is this “Pay under the table” for what we get and then frightened to look at what the city gets?

JF1
JF1
22 days ago

The same Planning Commission that promised STACHE would be a restaurant. LOL. Look what that turned out to be. I’m sure that security will be at his post at all times. LOL.

Manny
Manny
22 days ago
Reply to  JF1

Oh yeah with poetry readings, and Rocco’s “this is not a super night club, the number one thing they do here is food” That lasted 5 minutes.

C.R.
C.R.
21 days ago
Reply to  Manny

Stache is a restaurant. And if Rocco’s is anyone’s idea of a “super nightclub,” they need to explore other actual nightclubs.

JF1
JF1
21 days ago
Reply to  Manny

Lol. Right?!

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
21 days ago
Reply to  JF1

Is it not a restaurant/bar?

It’s pretty mellow compared to all the other establishments in that stretch.

I’ve only been there for drink and draw- it’s really fun.

Alison
Alison
22 days ago

I would like to know how Marquita Thomas (a candidate for the City Council) thinks this bar is “good for public safety”.

No, Nay, Never
No, Nay, Never
22 days ago
Reply to  Alison

Ms. Thomas appears to have little consciousness beyond her self involved orbit. How she was elevated to Exec Dir of LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce one will never know other than being a sharp elbowed, PR type with minimal responsibility or ability beyond her glorified IG account. A BA on Public Policy/Theatre, long on theatrics short on the public good. Bad choice for City Council, has demonstrated “0 “ for the community other than accusing people of racism

JF1
JF1
22 days ago
Reply to  No, Nay, Never

I heard she recently flip flopped on the defund the sheriffs department issue. She was all for defunding until the public backlash (a lot of good that did for us) and just before the vote to defund she changed her mind. No bueno. Will NOT be supporting her for council. No way.

Two different people
Two different people
21 days ago
Reply to  JF1

Marquita Thomas never said anything about defunding the police. It was Robert Oliver who flip flopped on the vote. Two completely different people, two completely different commissions.

JF1
JF1
21 days ago

Him too.

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
22 days ago

I haven’t been around since 1925 but I can’t remember a restaurant being there previously as this article states in the last 4 decades.

M.M.
22 days ago
Reply to  Tom Smart

Used to be a vintage store there with a magical garden in the back……I don’t remember a restaurant ever being there either

JF1
JF1
22 days ago
Reply to  M.M.

me either. It was trash with class then a design studio.

Dazed & Confused
Dazed & Confused
22 days ago

There is currently no one on the Planning Commission with keen antennae which should be requisite. Most appear dazed and confused except for their particular narrow expertise and have little inspiration to investigate & pass judgement on the best possible project micro/macro. Commissioner Thomas never misses an opportunity to flaunt her PR position. Unseemly.

The commission and community have suffered a great loss since Lynn Hoopengarner was banished to the gulag via the insidious craftiness of Council Member Shyne.

Monica Gets High with Woody
Monica Gets High with Woody
22 days ago

Monica’s House was originally supposed to open as a cannabis lounge where The Woods is and this “bar concept” will be. I believe there are still plans to add a cannabis lounge behind The Woods in the garden space directly adjacent to and within full view of residential structures – there is an extra door to the right of The Woods so it should still be the plan. This is just a dishonest way to skirt the law and have Monica’s House be able to “serve” the patrons of the future cannabis lounge with food and drink, which is illegal… Read more »

Manny
Manny
22 days ago

It really is baffling isn’t it? But unfortunately not surprising.

JF1
JF1
22 days ago
Reply to  Manny

Not surprising in the least bit. And Thomas wants to run the city with a seat on the council. That’s a NO vote from me…and I hope most others.

Dazed & Confused
Dazed & Confused
22 days ago
Reply to  JF1

Last election Thomas claimed in print that West Hollywood West was filled with people prejudiced against blacks. That’ll get ya votes!

JF1
JF1
22 days ago

They have no idea what they’re doing. If it sounds cool, they vote in favor of it.

Manny
Manny
22 days ago

Shared restrooms with a security guard stationed in the pass through between a pot shop and a bar. You can’t make this stuff up folks. Looks like they found themselves a nice loophole in the California law definition of “separate”……..No Bueno!

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