Steve Edelson makes his case before the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council
Nightclub owner Steve Edelson has a reputation for being a charming and creative businessman whose venues that draw a diverse mix of people in search of good music and good times. But Edelson, who is profiled in the current edition of L.A. Magazine, is also known as a hot-head who is dismissive of neighbors, fire marshals and others who have complained or have issues with his businesses. On Thursday night, members of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council tried to reconcile these two sides of Edelson as they weighed complaints from neighbors and a show of support for his latest nightlife venture, Los Globos nightclub on Sunset Boulevard. “I don’t want to be in a confrontational relationship with my neighbors,” Edelson told the council members.
Meanwhile, some of those neighbors weighed in, saying their complaints about noise and rowdy patrons have gone ignored for more than a year. “We need some respect,” said the manager of an apartment building across the street.
Edelson, whose previous nightclub have included El Cid and The Garage, came to the meeting as he seeks permanent permits to allow dancing and live music from the L.A. Police Commission (he currently has temporary permits). After rebuffing a motion to oppose the permits, the council members voted in favor of asking the police commission to delay making a decision on the permits, which is expected to take place early next year, until the council can gather more information and explore possible conditions to be imposed on the club.
After the meeting, Edelson said he would ask the police commission to delay taking action on his permit until the Silver Lake council could gather comments from neighbors as well as employees and supporters of the club.
Some members of the council, which includes an employee of Los Globos as well as a former punk rock club owner, were seeking to find a balance between supporting Silver Lake’s music and nightlife scene while protecting residents from noise and trash. Board member Dorit Dowler-Guerrero said she has patronized Los Globos but she has been blasted by loud music just by walking past the club, which is located in a two-story building painted jet black.
“It is as loud as hell,” said Dowler-Guerrero. “It’s screwing up their lives,” she said of the club’s impact on nearby residents. “You got to have respect for the neighbors.”
Over the years, Edelson has been charged by the city at least 30 times for violations, for such things as overcrowding. related to his clubs, said the L.A. Magazine article titled Maximum Steve. In addition, one of his nightclubs, El Cid on Sunset Boulevard, generated more than 200 complaints to the police and fire departments, the story said.
Edelson has also not been shy about challenging officials and residents who want to limit his operations. Using the Freedom of Information Act, he obtained emails from Councilman Eric Garcetti’s office related to complaints about Los Globos and the city’s response to the alleged problems, according to the story. “I have $50 million ready to defend myself for whatever the city throws at me,” he told L.A. Magazine.
Meanwhile, during Thursday night’s meeting, some members of the Silver Lake neighborhood council made reference to letters sent by Edelson’s attorneys that they considered intimidating and designed to discourage complaints.
The council’s vote to help improve relations between Los Globos, which operates well into the early morning with dance music and other entertainment, was met with skepticism by some.
Council member Nadine Trujillo said she and others had organized meetings a year ago between Los Globos managers and residents to deal with complaints. Some issues have resolved but others, including noise from the club and a shortage of street parking, have persisted, she said.