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Rosslyn Wants Cigars and Billiards, Santa Fe Firehouse Restaurant and the Mysterious La Mystere

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2009, at 10:11AM
Rosslyn Lofts Cleanup Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A 6,200 square foot mezzanine level in the Rosslyn Lofts will hold a cigar bar and billiards lounge if Amerland's Ruban Islas gets his way.

Amerland Group CEO Ruben Islas appeared before the DLANC Planning committee Monday evening to talk about his plans to bring a cigar bar and billiards lounge to the mezzanine level of the Rosslyn Lofts at 5th and Main.

Also on the agenda were updates on the future of the historic firehouse at 710 S. Santa Fe and La Mystere, a restaurant with dancing and karaoke.

Rosslyn Lofts

The mezzanine level of the Rosslyn Lofts is approximately 6,200 square feet, and Islas is seeking a pair of Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) for the space.

He hopes to see 2,400 square feet on the corner of 5th and Main used for a cigar bar, and is starting to work with the health department to determine what ventilation such a use would require. "They don't know yet," he said of the department. While California outlaws smoking inside public establishments, it does so to protect employees, not patrons. Opening a cigar bar is difficult, but can be done if the only people working inside are owners.

The remaining 4,800 square feet would be taken up by a billiards lounge. Islas is applying for an entertainment license that would cover incidental dancing in the venue, which is intended to be owned and operated separately from the cigar bar.

Islas also gave an update on the building's ground floor tenants, confirming that Pharmaka will be moving into the building's lobby to make way for a furniture store on the corner. Los Angeles Center for Digital Art and El Nopal Press are likely staying put, according to Islas.

710 S. Santa Fe

The Area Planning Commission recently rejected plans to open a two-level restaurant / bar / event space in the historic firehouse at 710 S. Santa Fe, so owner Jeffrey Birkmeyer has scaled back plans and is starting the entitlement process for a one-story restaurant in the building.

Birkmeyer told the committee that a neighboring property owner had shuttled tenants to the hearing to object to his project, not wanting to lose any parking spaces on the street.

La Mystere

The committee had a short discussion on La Mystere, a restaurant planned for 610 E. 7th, the corner of 7th and San Pedro. The owners had appeared before the committee in August, and the committee had expressed a great deal of skepticism over the proposed project and its location, deciding to decline to write a letter of support.

According to the project's Planning department filing, the 4,974 square foot restaurant would include karaoke, dancing, live music and video game machines.

The project had its Zoning Administrator's hearing on September 3, and was opposed by both LAPD Central and Newton Divisions, the Central City East Association and Council District 14. Despite that, committee chair Shiraz Tangri relayed that the owners told him they expected to get approved. Committee members expressed their skepticism at that prospect.

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