David Cooley, the bad-ass who bestowed The Abbey on West Hollywood, is getting ready to roll out his vision for a new restaurant and bar. As per a press statement, the owner envisions a 10,000 square-foot space right next to door to his famous straight-tolerant gay bar, with the intention of opening a complimentary concept by combining the former homes of Raffi’s Jewelry and Balliamos Dance Studio, and the current abode of Unicorn Alley adult store. Taking over the leases at these addresses, Cooley envisions the project strapped with a 3,000 square-foot outdoor patio that overlooks Santa Monica Boulevard and another sizable terrace that hangs above West Hollywood Park. But with Cooley’s expansion comes concerns of who may be hiding behind the curtain here.
While keeping specifics under wraps for now, Cooley announces, "I’ve been looking for ways to expand on The Abbey’s success for a long time. Opportunities on Santa Monica Boulevard like this do not come along very often. With this project, we’ll use nearly 25 years of experience from The Abbey serving the West Hollywood community and add something new and exciting to the heart of Boystown."
The latter part of Cooley’s statement could come as a possible comfort to neighborhood residents worried that SBE, Sam Nazarian’s hospitality portfolio that includes The Abbey, is bringing breeder hell into the heart of West Hollywood. A rep confirms to Grub Street that while Cooley partnered with SBE in 2006 to expand The Abbey and is still partners with the company in that venue, Cooley is "leading this project from concept to execution."
WeHoVille reports that others in the neighborhood are also bemoaning the existing lack of retail spaces, in the face of losing a great sex shop three more.
With Real Housewives subject Lisa Vanderpump setting up camp nearby with a new reality show-spawned atrocity project called P.U.M.P. and yesterday’s new that the impending shutter of The Palm Bar marks a complete erasure of lesbian bars from this L.A. city, it’s never too soon for the politically-active neighborhood to bolster the ramparts against the threat of douchery.
Earlier: The Abbey Sued Over Allegations of Sexual Assault [GS]