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Friday, October 31, 2014

Silver Lake restaurant owner responds to a wall of criticism

Photo by Bob Warpehoski

Photo by Jesse Saucedo

It’s been a dozen years since Silver Lake restaurant and property owner Gareth Kantner purchased a cluster of neglected storefronts at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Sanborn Avenue. Over time, Kantner renovated the complex  – painted terra-cota red and crowned by the iconic Sunset Junction sign – and filled the spaces with upscale tenants – Intelligentsia Coffee, Cheese Store of Silver Lake and his own restaurant, Cafe Stella.

But now Kantner’s  most recent change at his property – the construction of an approximately six-foot high wall in front of what will be  an expansion of Cafe Stella – had attracted criticism in the form of blog comments and, as of this morning, tagging.  Kantner found the words “Tear Down This Wall” had been spray painted on both sides of the wall.

The tagging will be removed but the wall is going to stay, Kantner said in an interview.

“How dare you,” Kantner said of whoever is responsible for the tagging. “I have been “trying to make this corner a wonderful place for the community with  amenities that people need … it infuriates me.”

Many critics of the wall said it’s ugly and unnecessary.  “On top of Silver Lake’s general awesomeness (in which Stella plays a huge role), that corner gave us something unique,” said Bob Warpehoski, who snapped the top photo. “It was a visual and visceral treat. Before the wall, the intersection had an open, inviting, and airy atmosphere. The corner was a small public gathering space, where one could meet up with friends and chat without feeling like one was blocking the pathway for other pedestrians. Now one must rush by, head down, through a corral of oppression as we try to keep this new bunker area clear of congestion.”

Kantner said the wall – which was built with permits and vetted by the neighborhood council – is designed to provide privacy for patrons and to shield school kids from the sight of people drinking. “I don’t want them seeing that,” he said. “We get privacy, and they get privacy.”

By next week, the wall will have been covered by a smooth coat of stucco painted the same dark blue that serves as the accent color of the adjacent buildings.  Bougainvillaea, a wooden door and Moroccan-style lamps will be added in time for the opening of Cafe Stella expansion, which is scheduled to be open in April. “I am doing it nice,” he said.



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120 comments

  1. haha

    “Now one must rush by, head down, through a corral of oppression as we try to keep this new bunker area clear of congestion.”

    Wait, is this a Portlandia episode?

  2. “How dare you?”

    Heh, someones got some thin skin. Lets save that line for something more dramatic, like espionage backstabbing or someting…

    • I think it’s pretty bold and f’d up to spray paint words on someone else’s property. “How dare you” is quite fitting.

    • ” How dare you?” That was the exact same thing I thought when I first saw the wall. If after reading all of the negative comments concerning the wall and Mr. Kantner choses to allow it to remain, I would say to him, “How dare you!”

      Gareth Kantner … Tear down this wall!

  3. Silver Lake Queen

    The wall is really, really ugly. I don’t condone tagging it, but it is really, really ugly. I’m sure its looks will improve. However, the sidewalk will not expand!

    • Exactly. I’ve no doubt he’ll do it up all classy-like, but it still takes up A LOT of sidewalk space in an already overcrowded intersection. When I saw the notices for public hearings, it sounded to me like they were only expanding into the Driftwood space, not in front of it. Enough is never enough for some people, I guess.

  4. I think you mean “however, the corral of oppression will remain!”

  5. It’s a big, ugly cinderblock wall. Probably if/when it is beautified with a tasteful mural or plant life people won’t hate it so much (or tag it). Why not give it a quick coat of paint in the interim? That whole section is an eyesore now that those little shops around the corner have been leveled. I hope the new buildings that are eventually constructed really do improve the area, but I have my doubts.

    • Painting the wall before stucco wouldn’t work. It needs to be a coarse, unfinished surface so the stucco will bond with it.

  6. i always looked at this corner as the unofficial entrance to sunset junction. now it is just a completely blind pedestrian corner. not welcoming, not inviting and certainly not a gathering place. lots of people, dogs, strollers, bikes + wall = bad news. permits and paint don’t help much unfortunately. :(

  7. if stella’s food was better i might be more sympathetic. shield kids from seeing adults drinking? come on. this is an owner who made a poor decision that is only going to reduce the value of his restaurant.

    come see me drinking and sitting outside enjoying the weather and passerbys at figero cafe. it’s extremely idiotic to choke off the restaurant from what’s going on outside in such a prime location. so DUMB

    • Yeah, I agree. It is an eyesore on the sidewalk. I would have to wonder how something that is a major change into the through fare would get approved. Who would want to dine in such a claustrophobic box like that. I haven’t seen the plans, and wish I had been at any sort of planning meeting. Sure, the sign gets restored to its original beauty, but the corner gets a major redo, enclosing rather than exposing…maybe a compromise of half the wall? Oh well, chalk it up to a beautiful city that keeps getting rid of things that mean anything. But then I think…well…you can’t hold on to anything too long and there is no such thing as forever. Right?

  8. The storefronts’ were not neglected, as you stated in the article, before Gareth bought the building. The building was full of thriving shops catering to a segment of the community.

  9. it is really claustrophobic and makes Cafe Stella seem more out of touch then it already did….

  10. Gareth – don’t let it bother you too much. A lot of us are looking forward to the new Stella and that wall still looks better than the El Pollo Loco. Maybe someone should walk across the street and tag them.

  11. Actually, the sidewalk is expanding, @Silver Lake Queen. There’s a whole effort already funded and approved to make the sidewalk bigger, plant trees, add bike racks, that was supposed to start in December but got delayed. Eastsider’s been covering it for months.

  12. Get over it people ! good gawd ! What a bunch of whiny babys !
    Oh the wall , oh its hideous , its ugly , the bunker blah blah blah !
    I mean really ? Are there not much more important issues lurking ?
    Like a poor girl found dead and naked from the waist down off a freeway offramp?
    Get real !

    • Precisely! What on earth?!? Are we so privileged that we care more about this wall than the fact that in one month, a human head was discovered in our neighborhood, as well as a dead 22 yr old woman whose 2 children will not know their mother?

  13. Put a bird on it.

  14. I drove by this today and thought it was funny someone wrote that on the wall. If this wall is not covered by a mural it will be still tagged which can cause debate on it ugliness. Hope you put art on the wall. Also it takes away from the other store fronts loveliness. I work in silverlake. The more industrial walls go up the more unattractive it seems, those restaurants seem hidden as it is.booo

  15. Most of you lil brats wouldn’t even know about Echo Park if it wasn’t for people such as Kantner. who opened up spaces before Echo Park was the super cool place to live. So really? Take a step back. And did you really think he would leave it an unfinished cinder block wall? Really?? I’m being oppressed now? Hahahaha that’s funny! I’ve got a good idea for ya! Its called the westside.

    • brats. haha. obviously no one is complaining about the cinderblocks themselves. it’s the fucked up design and encroachment on the public sidewalk. i was excited for the new stella but now i could care less. i like open spaces, sue me.

      now if the property boundaries originally included that space whatever. however i have a feeling that that expansion was approved by the city council or whoever.

      kanter owns a company called park my ride. there is not much info on this other than that it might pull in just under 200k annually. i’m curious what this company actually does. valet services? impound lot? i’m curious where this money comes from if not his father.

      • really? your bringing his father and his parking lot into this? get a life. its his property and i can guarantee in a year you’ll never remember the amazing social space that used to be there. i’ve been a neighbor for 16 yrs and before gareth turned that corner into what it is now i can assure you it was no social hangout.

        • I actually grew up on San Born, and it was always a social area, there used to be tables in the inside of that area and that worked a lot better than what hes doing now.

  16. “vetted by the neighborhood council”
    This is why y’all wall haters should participate in municipal governance rather than just critiquing any changes you don’t like as if they were graphic design choices, or wardrobe choices. Clearly there were questions about this at some point, and clearly they were addressed. It’s just so annoying to hear such vapid, shallow complaints. Cities change, urban fabric changes, this guy seems to be changing it for the better. Critique the gentrification he’s helping, critique the architecture, sure. But if you really care, participate. Otherwise, just putter on to the next superficial hipster-ghetto and leave this one to the inevitable yuppies who will follow in your wake.

    • Well said. Nothing like the truth to clear up those sinuses. A recommendation to all the aforementioned estrogen based hipster (the beards aren’t hiding that) pioneers: Go tackle Santa Monica Blvd. from Vermont to La Brea, that’ll keep you busy for a while.

  17. Editing people! “Terracotta” or maybe “terra-cotta” but never “terra-cota”.

  18. And now dozens of jerks with nothing better to do will make it their mission to tick off a solid local business person until they can’t stand it anymore and leaves. Publicity in this case will only make the situation worse.

  19. …beautification of a cement block wall? Cutting off folks from folks? By the looks of it, looks rather like polishing a turd, if you’ll forgive me…

  20. The wall looks horrible. Kantner has jumped the shark. It’s sad to think that someone who has done so much has chosen to end up in bankruptcy via this self inflicted wound.

  21. Echopipe-

    WTF does Echo Park have to do with Gareth?

    I think Gareth has good taste. He has great tenants and a good restaurant. I have faith that the wall will slowly grow into its corner. However, the idea that he’s shielding school kids from us drinking adults is ludacris. An outdoor patio or something more akin to Cafe Figaro would have been welcome.

  22. is that Dog the Bounty Hunter checking out the damage?

  23. how about some stucco and some paint? it will then look finished….and better.

  24. he should have spaced out the blocks so that there is spaces so that its not just boring wall but that you can see in and out of it a little bit.

  25. Why aren’t you all complaining about the NaturalMind facade across from the 99¢ store!? It’s too bad that the plants have been slow to fill in, but that is an eyesore.

    The cinder block wall will probably look decent at some point.

  26. I’m so glad the owner is standing up to the fascism of the neighborhood urban development fascists. He’s done nothing short of reinventing this particular corner. Ingrates.

    • neighborhood fascism. lol. it’s like the sky is falling. the dude made a terrible design choice and will suffer because people like me won’t dine there. pretty simple.

  27. Now I know how the palestinians feel.

  28. Before Gareth Kantner “Sunset Junction” didn’t even exist as anything any of the complainers here would care for or recognize. It was beyond dull and decrepit. I bet many don’t know that the Intelligentsia space used to be a disgusting butcher shop until Gareth brought in Intelligentsia and the Cheese Store of Silver Lake used to be a sex accessory shop. Why not give the man who made the neighborhood the one you can love the benefit of the doubt on this?

  29. ‘Corral of Oppression’ describes everything I loathe about Silver Lake and Echo Park. Whiny hipsters.

  30. Screw you guys. I’m awesome and I’m here to stay.

  31. Doesn’t matter if it was built with permits….wouldn’t be the first time the City approved something they shouldn’t have. The zoning code doesn’t allow it. Which is why the building is where it is now…otherwise that would have been built to the corner. The reason for prohibiting building to the corner is to preserve sightlines to the intersection. Should be obvious.

  32. It just doesn’t make good design sense. Its difficult to understand those who would argue to
    the comtrary. Why would you want to put up a high wall that creates a physical and visual interruption for the patrons in your own restaurant? As well as passersby? It’s certainly not a very open and welcoming choice. It invokes an immediate feeling of unwelcomeness, actually. There could’ve been a number of alternate designs that would ha’ve achieved the desired effect without barricading the entire corner off with such a heavy and intrusive element. For all those expressing anger towards those who are saying the don’t like it, I think it’s disengenuous to pepper your replies with such personal insults. We all live here and enjoy certain aspects of this area. That corner was a very open and inviting corner, and now it’s basically less so. The owner made a choice, and the neighborhood council simply failed to insist on a more aesthetically sensible design in my opinion. And I think it’s fair to say that opinion has a decent support base among the community. It’s not the first time that LA bureaucracy has led to a poor city planning result, and it won’t be the last. Tagging it isn’t going to change it, however.

  33. In a neighborhood that thrives on creativity, aren’t there other ways to obstruct a view other than a cinderblock wall?

  34. @Andrea. Yes, it’s called tempered glass. It needs to be 42″ high. That’s all the owner needs to serve alcohol out there. This guy is clearly a bozo

  35. I thought the tagger was quoting Reagan RE the Berlin Wall? I found it humorous.

    • I like things the make sense

      Me too! (And I kind of think we’re right, can’t believe more people didn’t interpret it that way… too bad we’ll never know). I thought it was a hilarious reference to the Berlin Wall, made me laugh out loud (which is hard to do) as I drove by it today.
      And, by the way, what’s the problem with tagging, or expressing oneself, on a wall that’s going to be painted over anyway? And if it wasn’t going to be painted over, then what’s the big deal on tagging something so ugly in the first place?

  36. I REPEAT !!!…………..and meanwhile , morons on this blog are complaining about the”look” of a cinder block wall … how shameful.
    This is what is terrible , a young woman lost her life in a horrific manner , and all people can write about is how terrible a wall looks at cafe Stella.
    It proves this neighborhood is becoming as superficial as the people who have moved here within the past 10 years are.
    Peace to this family that lost Bree’anna .
    I hope they find whomever did this to her , and justice is served .

    • Kio – yes, I am concerned about the fate of Breanna Guzman from Lincoln Heights. So please tell me – what do you think happened to her and what leads you to your conclusions?

      Have you decided to advocate in favor of a theory that BreAnna Guzman was the victim of a completely random abduction by a serial perpetrator who had no connection whatsoever to her?

      Are you willing to agree that Breanna Guzman’s disappearance has a significant probability of being connected to someone who knows her in some way? Because there is a lot of detailed work that needs to be compiled, organized and reviewed.

      We know how much you truly care and hope that a suspect is found and brought to justice. We know that you are not a moron and you are not superficial like the people who moved here in the last ten years. So you Kio are the community member we rely on for the up to date status on the case. You Kio are the community member who has made the case of BreAnna Guzman your mission. You have resolved to selflessly devote your time and energy to be the community watchdog over the police assigned to investigate her disappearance. You Kio will inform and organize the community into action if the police can’t show you that they have done a thorough and complete professional investigation of all potential leads.

      Thank you Kio for caring and being so involved. Now this community has one of its own to get answers about the investigation.

      What is the name of the investigator(s) who reviewed the video from the Rite-Aid security camera(s)? Did they find anything? Will they have somebody else review the video to see if they can spot something?

      What did they find from the phone and cell phone records of BreAnna, of the apartment and of anybody staying at/or visiting the apartment?

      Do they have any results from toxicology testing on the remains? Results for in the bloodstream and results for past use from hair analysis?

      Have they made a list of all people BreAnna was involved with and made contact to interview those persons?

      Have they been able to contact and interview the father(s) of BreAnna’s children?

  37. Kio,

    We was all like grieving for that girl on HER thread. This is like the thread for the bichin about the wall thingy.

    Care to join in? It seems to be very very important…

  38. what will it take to move on from this hipster hating. i’m tired of hearing the word hipster from boring people that sit at home playing with their cats and dogs. i personally love kramer types.

  39. Wow, all this over a wall? people in Silverlake really need to find something better to do with their time.
    This is why L.A. is the laughing stock of the nation, why can’t people focus that energy into more important issues than some guys wall?

  40. i was going past it recently and was thinking to myself how ugly and out of place that wall was and that it just does not look right the way the corner is shaped.

    sincerely, Jennifer student of architect in SL

  41. meh…if you don’t like it don’t go there. Then the guy will go out of business and you can buy the property and take down the wall. Speaking about fascists, personally, I think Intelligentsia is worst place to buy coffee.

  42. I think the wall is a mistake too; the kind of thing the owner will regret with all the bad karma it has created. It may be within their rights, but it does take something precious away. Let’s hope there’s a change of heart.

    • i agree. i hope for a change of heart.

      perhaps in the conception phase, it was not obvious how sadly it would destroy the open welcoming character of the corner-which had evolved into the heart of sunset junction- AND which i think attracted customers to Stella. Now there’s an opposite, repellent effect, which i seriously doubt painted stucco and bougainvillea would change.

      those old european cities we all long to visit have understood this for hundreds of years: people love and congregate in beautiful OPEN spaces. Piazza San Marco, Place du Tertre, Place de Furstenberg…Los Angeles is so short on them as it is. Here we are mourning the loss of a particularly spacious corner!

      People are drawn to those spaces. and then they linger and SPEND MONEY.

      not the smartest business move.

      whoever suggested the Figaro approach is smart indeed. the food there is meh, but walking by looking at the stylish people sipping wine and eating is the best free advertising that place could have. and it’s always packed.

  43. Have not asked Gareth yet, but I am quite certain he had to build the wall..because he is serving alcohol. As far as the city ordinance being 42″ high..that might be the case, but with a permanent wall of that height..after business hours would be a hidden area for homeless to sleep, people to toss their trash, or a burglar to break in…unnoticed from the street. The wall is high enough that you can’t just jump over it.
    It would have been nice to be able to look in and out..and possibly he could have built some kind of movable, glass wall (42″) .. that could be brought in… after doors shut for the evening.
    One design (or contractor) mistake for sure is that the cinder block wall does not line up to the existing wall that goes up Sanborn Ave.
    Seeing the red brick revealed is a big plus … would be nice if the whole structure could have its stucco removed.
    Gareth has always had good taste in his interior design projects..I am certain it will all look fabulous..once completed.

  44. It looks like the entrance of a state park or highway rest stop bathroom.

  45. I think it looks great! I’d like to see a lot more walls and parking lots in Silver Lake.

  46. FACT CHECK: The neighborhood council did NOT sign off on the wall. They signed off on the patio space only. The wall was a big surprise to them. Having attended the neighborhood council meeting last night, I can tell you they are unhappy with the wall. This Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Russian Church there will be another meeting. This time focused solely on Sunset Junction developments.

    And stucco vs. cinderblock vs. pretty vines is a red herring as far as most of us wall critics are concerned
    Visually and physically open, inviting space has been a major part of the appeal of that corner. We want it back and intend to do what we can to get it back.

    Sure, Mr. Kantner has excellent taste, but even the best of us make errors in judgement. This is a glaring one.

    Finally, why isn’t it possible for a person to care about the wall *and* care about other things in the world? We have enough time for more than one cause, non?

  47. The wall is unsightly and unnecessary.

  48. This wall is yuck. Not needed. Shielding kids from having to see adults sitting at tables having a drink is not a good reason. Perhaps in Tehran, not in Silver Lake. Another example of sidewalk life being trampled in Los Angeles. Privacy, privacy, privacy. I’m sick of it. Imagine if all the terraces in Paris were walled. What a dumb idea this wall is! Mr. Kantner: make it waste level at least.

  49. The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council was not presented with such wall being a part of the expansion. The Council supported the outside patio which was supposed to enhance the pedestrian lifestyle and feel on the boulevard and in particular the “Sunset Junction” character.

    • At a meeting hosted by the Governmental Affairs of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council the case with be discussed with the community, and we have invited Mr. Kantner to attend. The meeting will take place at the Russian Orthodox Church on 800 block of Micheltorena Street – just few lots north of Bellevue.
      Time – 5:30 pm. Plenty of parking on church’s parking lot. Please attend!

  50. Not to be outdone, I heard that neighboring Intelligentsia Coffee now wants to build a 12 foot wall. From what I understand, it has something to do with keeping the kiddies from seeing the grown ups all jacked up on caffeine. Not to worry though, they will stuccoing their wall as well to make it harmonious with Cafe Stella.

  51. (I meant “waist” level of course. It’s already a waste. Hah, hah.)

  52. I could see myself getting outraged about something stupid like this, cause I don’t like change.

    Hopefully reading about this will give me pause when something happens to my favorite corner.

  53. Three posts stating where and when the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council meeting will be held.

    80 posts pissing and moaning about the wall.

    One post acknowledging the meeting and asking for the date.

    You 80 complainers going to show up? Put a fucking bird on your veggie Benz and go to the meeting!

    • I’m with BP. Either put up or shut up! I also called Garcetti’s office-did anyone do that?
      “Just Me January 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm
      The zoning code has a corner cut off/visibility triangle requirement that prohibits construction of most structures in a triangle extending 10′ from the intersection of the property lines at the corner. LA Muni Code 12.21,C-7. Not sure how this wall got approved – doesn’t look like a specific approval was requested or granted for this.

      REPLY

      corner soul January 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm
      Perhaps a few dozen calls/emails/tweets to Eric Garcetti’s office will help resolve this: http://cd13.com/contact-us
      Call Garcetti: 323-957-4500

      Here is the meeting Thursday night:
      Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral
      650 Micheltorena Street,
      Los Angeles, CA 90026
      323-666-4977
      http://www.hvmla.org
      SLNC/ GA Meeting – February 2 (Thursday), 2012
      Time – 5:30 PM Sunset Junction Demolition & Cafe Stella
      6:30 Zev Yaroslavsky – LA County Supervisor

      Are you going to let a restaurant destroy the flavor of our oh so loved Sunset Junction? Hell no!!!!!!

  54. Lol, shield kids from drinking is a great rational. We should mandate 6 foot walls along all the sidewalks of the entire city to shield kids from harmful views of adults drinking alcohol, mowing lawns, driving, and other things children are not allowed to do.

  55. do you guys get pissed off when your neighbor paints his house a different color than you would have chose? do you get angry when people wear jeans that don’t fit your aesthetic? maybe you go to your friends houses and get furious when you see how they have their bookshelves organized? this is one of the most incredible threads i’ve yet seen on the eastsider (and I’ve seen some doozies).

  56. After all it his property. I will love to see the day, when the same folks that complain get it returned to them. Their property their money. After all it is intrusive to pit your plans on someones dreams.

  57. Considering the amount of entitled twats that frequent – it’s surprising only one twat vandalized it.

  58. @Well-

    Your argument blows. I’ve got a neighbor that built a two-story stucco mess next to my restored craftsman. But that’s his little piece of the world. As long as there’s not a POS on blocks in the front yard I don’t care. This ain’t the 909.

    However, it’s reasonable to expect community displeasure that affects, uh, the community. Commercial properties have a unique way of shaping communities and adding to or detracting to community spaces. The other issue, that I’m not entirely clear on, is that this was NOT approved nor does it confirm to proper zoning laws. I’m not sure. But if that’s the case, then let the uprising begin. I’m proud to live in Portlandia, uh, Silver Lake. This sense of community pride is what makes living amongst the entitled yippsters such a pleasure.

  59. Construction is a PROCESS, silly hipsters–the wall isn’t going to STAY bare cinderblock. How would most of you even know that, since you’ve never had a real job? I’m sure he’ll make it look nice, has he ever made anything at that intersection NOT look nice? Once upon a time, Silver Lake was awesome. Then everybody wanted a piece. Now everybody claims ownership. Go back to whatever westside hole you crawled out of, you neo-hippie-yuppies.

    • @Joe
      Responding to an article is a Process!. First one must read the article. Had you done so, you would have read that the wall will change. The complaint is not that the wall is cinder block, the concern is the height and the location in relationship to the corner. Let me know of any other articles you find confusing and this hipster will do my best to help you understand.

      • “The concern is… the location in relationship to the corner?” Oh I’m sorry, maybe now you actually have to look up from your iPhone when crossing the street now–don’t want you bumping into any walls.

        • The problem is that the sidewalk suddenly gets a lot narrower. There’s a lot of pedestrians here (as the owner surely realizes, since he’s planning on expanding a restaurant!) and those corners can get crowded. Especially when someone is bringing a bike up to park at Intelligentsia or anything.

  60. Thanks cameron I also thought this was a code mandated visibility / pedestrian traffic flow issue. All newer bldgs have the corner cut out at ground level. As it is who hasn’t almost run into a jumpy caffeine fueled intelligentsia patron or someone needing their fix when turning the corner there?

  61. Have to agree with the owner on this. We keep it up, our coffee houses and pubs will go to China.

  62. Most of you whiners seem to be unaware that the opening of Cafe Stella was a watershed moment in the creation of the wonderful world you all now inhabit aka today’s
    Silver Lake. Things were not so great before Cafe Stella opened but a lot happened not long after Kantner showed the way. I’ve lived in the area for over 20 years and know Gareth personally (no, he is not paying me to write this LOL) trust his aesthetic and cannot wait to enjoy this new venue.

    • Was your friend Gareth on the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria!? Either way, we are grateful for his pioneering spirit in Silver Lake!

      While I *am* just teasing (and I’ve never even met Gareth nor Christopher Columbus), it’s too bad you cannot objectively view the new lack of view your friend has erected.

    • No baby, it was better before the miracle of Cafe Stella. The conservatory is the place that singlehandedly changed and brightened up the neighborhood.
      Casbah is underrated and has been there a while. Millie’s, You’ve Got Bad Taste (RIP) were the hip mainstays for a while. Your assertion shows your lack of context.
      The aesthetic of Cafe Stella has always seemed a bit Melrose Blvd circa 1988 for this long term resident. You know, fake Europe.
      The WALL only exposes the true cheesiness that lay in the center, like a foul cocoon of overpriced brie…

    • you know Gareth personally, then you know how the tenants feel about him and the neighbors and let me tell you, this corner would have happened with or without Gareth, and since you know him since Stellas inception then you must also know how the cookie crumbled and he acquired the building. things that make you go hmmmmm

  63. If it’s just a privacy issue, a “buffer” affect could be achieved with plants that are moved in/out during business hours, shielding customers a bit from the walkway yet leaving a sight-line for pedestrians around a busy corner…. just a thought I had.

  64. Good evening all of you!!!
    I invite all to come and join me for a cup of coffee tomorrow … At cafe stella
    To image in a open dicussion
    I would love to talk and listen to ideas and concerns
    Let me know?

    • Hello Mr. Kantner,

      I’m afraid that is quite short notice for a meeting. Working stiffs in the neighborhood cannot shift our schedules at the last moment.

      As you’ve surely read, the community is having a meeting about this issue on Thursday at 5:30 at the Russian church.

      Please join us then.

      Thanks

  65. Say around 10am!!!

  66. instead of bougainvillea that wall needs a big huge 3D Hipster Mustache on the front of it

    tourists can come by to pose and take pictures of themselves next to it

  67. Nobody for coffee at stella
    That’s what I thought!!!

    • I don’t really care what you think about no one answering your 11th-hour call for a coffee klatch. Now let’s see if the community’s a no-show tomorrow night.

  68. I was there!!!!!!!!!!!!

  69. Thanks for making a fine point, Gareth. So much easier for folks to type anonymously than show up to discuss in person.

    • “IS: January 31, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Hello Mr. Kantner,

      I’m afraid that is quite short notice for a meeting. Working stiffs in the neighborhood cannot shift our schedules at the last moment.

      As you’ve surely read, the community is having a meeting about this issue on Thursday at 5:30 at the Russian church.

      Please join us then.

      Thanks”

  70. unless you spent your day scrolling through comments you would not have known about the “meeting” this morning. it was posted after 6pm last night with no update or advance notice. that , coupled with the fact that a lot of people have jobs to get to. i hardly call that a victory , or a sign that no one cares to show up and voice an opinion. anyway, thanks for the new blind corner. i’m sure the original designer of the building just didn’t know better. now , i need to go finish blocking off the entrance to my house.

  71. mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall

  72. Do you guys really think it was the real Gareth Kantner??? We can make you believe anything ones want!

  73. That wall blows. Hope those kids don’t walk down the street and see anyone drinking – THE HORROR! – at Good with their sidewalk seating. It’s not a rave, it’s a restaurant. Wish I’d been in town for that meeting. I love Stella, hate the wall, but most of all, love all the awesome posts and conversations between neighbors.

  74. Gareth offering a free cup of coffee, mosdef not the real Gareth.

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