SILVER LAKE – When a recording artist and DJ plans to open a restaurant, you would expect the place to be loud. But that’s not going to be the case with the vegan cafe that Moby plans to open on Rowena Avenue. Moby, in a community meeting on Wednesday night, told neighbors that he was not expecting to attract a noisy or rowdy crowd. If people are looking for a crazy night out, said Moby, “they are not going to a vegan restaurant.”
The DJ-turned-restauranteur is working on opening his vegan restaurant, Little Pine, this summer on Rowena Avenue near Silver Lake Drive. Many residents said they are looking forward to a new place to eat and hang out on Rowena, where at least two restaurants have closed in recent years. But some neighbors near the restaurant site have expressed concern about the impact on street parking, noise from an outdoor patio and opening hours that would stretch to midnight on most weekdays and until 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Moby’s group is seeking city and state permits to serve beer and wine.
‘There are no vegetarian/vegan options past 10 p.m.,” said Moby explaining the late operating hours during a committee meeting of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council. His vegetarian/vegan friends “are sad about that.”
Moby, who addressed a standing room audience in a steamy community room, did not appear interested in adding more off-street parking (he said it currently meets city requirements). But he expressed willingness to shut down the patio early to help shield adjoining residences from noise. He will also look at adjusting the operating hours. The council’s Urban Design & Preservation Committee postponed taking a position on his permits until he returned with updated information.
Rod Crosby, who owns a duplex next to Little Pine, said he was concerned about the noise generated when customers would leave the restaurant and parking lot at closing time. Vegans – as well as meat eaters – are likely to be noisy after a night of eating and drinking, he said. Still, he was optimistic that Moby will live up to his pledge to help keep things quiet.
“It sounds like they are going to make that effort,” Crosby said.