It was a tangental comment to the thread that developed from Sean’s post here last week about Silver Lake’s Pho restaurant that piqued my napping curiosity. In it, the commenter who goes by the intriguing nom du screen of deathbygokart waxed wonderfully about the nearby Johnny’s Cocktail Lounge on the north side Sunset Boulevard just west of Parkman:
“…this compact club revives the former namesake roadhouse that once occupied the space — check out the vintage photo above the telephone booth. Sleek bench seating circles the indoor perimeter, while in-the-know locals and spillover crowd from Fold-promoted Silver Lake Lounge shows belly up to the bar in the middle of the room. The soundtrack? Neo-garage bands like the Strokes and other Spaceland upstarts.”
In some of my recent sidetrips around the internest I’ve come across worried wonderings about the state of Johnny’s these last few weeks. Was it still in open? Closed? For remodeling maybe? Or permanently and if so, why dammit? While I used to see its entrance wide open after dark and its friendly doorman stationed beside it, lately not so much. And it hasn’t helped that Eastside Mercantile next door has had a “going out of business” sign draped from its frontage these past few weeks.
So yesterday evening I took a walk over and found a “24-hour Notice To Inspect” posted on the door (you can see it there in the picture above). On the surface it didn’t seem too ominous in tone, all it did was indicate that the property’s owners were excercising their right to take a look around the premises sometime yesterday between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. What was death-knell ominous was when I read the bottom of the form.
There I found that the document had been prepared by the law firm of Dennis P. Block. If that name doesn’t ring a ready bell for you, it certainly did for me. Block is the prolific eviction lawyer recently profiled in the L.A. Times who promotes himself to potential clients as “A man who has evicted more tenants than any other human being on the planet Earth.”
Multiple phone calls over the last few days to Johnny’s had gone unanswered. A call to Block’s firm this morning rang and rang until a receptionist picked up and immediately put me on hold for several minutes until she came back on the line and took my inquiry and put me back on hold for 15 more minutes until I finally hung up.
And while not definitive is pretty much the answer I expected to get.