Echo Park - In the saga surrounding Taix restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, there’s now a lawsuit.
The Silver Lake Heritage Trust is charging that the City of Los Angeles violated laws about public meetings while deciding whether to declare the Echo Park building a historic landmark.
The City Council approved the historic nominationon June 2. But, as a result of an amendment by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, only the building's red-and-white Taix billboard; a vertical red-and-white “Cocktails” sign, and the restaurant’s original cherry wood bar top will be preserved.
The rest of the Sunset Boulevard building would be demolished for a proposed 170 units of housing and 13,000 square feet of retail commercial space, including a place for a smaller version of Taix.
The lawsuit says some members of the public who wanted to speak during some of the meetings were not able to.
“Several members of the public who called in and raised their virtual hands to speak on Item No. 10 - including the applicant and one of the historians who prepared the nomination - were not called on to speak,” the suit states about a meeting on May 4.
Plaintiffs also claim that the public was not properly notified or informed about an amendment from Councilmember O’Farrell.
In a letter to the Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee, O’Farrell introduced an amendment in which the building would not be honored as a monument. Instead just the business along with a few artifacts would be protected by the landmark designation.
In his letter, O’Farrell noted that the Cultural Heritage Commission did not recommend preserving the building for its architectural quality, but only for its broad cultural, economic, and social history - as a business.
The suit seeks to nullify the June 2 Council decision about Taix’s historical status, and to charge Councilmember O’Farrell with a misdemeanor law against hiding information from the public.
The City Attorney’s office and Councilmember O’Farrell’s office say they will not comment on this pending litigation. The Eastsider has also reached out to the Silver Lake Heritage Trust for any further comment.
Taix restaurant dates back to 1927, when it began in a family-owned hotel Downtown. It did not move into its current location, however, until 1962.