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Hotel Cecil Restaurant's Alcohol Hearing a Stage for Main Street Debate

By Ed Fuentes and Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009, at 11:43AM
Stay Hotel Eric Richardson [Flickr]

New hotel/hostel hybrid Stay features a separate lobby off of Main street.

Would a new restaurant in the Hotel Cecil displace residents? Monday, representatives from LACAN lobbied to have an application to sell beer and wine at proposed restaurant Tuck denied, making a variety of claims as to how its approval would negatively affect residents.

Associate Zoning Administrator Albert Landini found the displacement argument particularly curious, asking whether there were residents living in the ground floor space soon to be occupied by the restaurant.

Tuck, which would serve comfort food, is the latest in a number of single-name improvements opened by new management at the historic Main street hotel. This summer the hotel opened Stay, a boutique hotel / youth-hostel hybrid. The months since have seen the opening of convenience store Marty and gallery Arty.

While current efforts in the facility are upscale, the Cecil's gone through tough times in recent decades. Like many hotels in the Historic Core, the Cecil served a number of residential customers. Today, two floors of the hotel still house long-term tenants. Hotel ownership is engaged in a lawsuit with the city over the facility's placement on a residential hotel roster.

Representatives from LACAN, the Skid Row organization with a history of opposing changes on Main street, argued that those two floors of residents would be inconvenienced by noise and increased outdoor foot traffic from the restaurant.

Landini was emphatic that the zoning decision was not a housing issue, and asked the group if it had any documentation to support its claims.

Still, he left comments on the Conditional Use Permit application open for ten days in order for both the hotel and those against the application to submit additional information. Once that period is up, Landini will issue a decision.

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