A terrible tragedy unfolded last week at Downtown LA’s popular Buzz Wine Beer Shop. According to its Yelp page, which is being bombarded with negative one-star reviews, an employee of the bottle shop (which also has a beer bar and tasting section) committed suicide during business hours inside the space, only for ownership to allegedly open the place back up as soon as the coroner had left.
One of the store's partners confirmed to Eater this afternoon that the suicide did in fact take place on September 14 and that the store stayed in business for the remainder of the day. While a full statement is
pending below from the shop's ownership, they did initially state that it was a mistake to stay open, thinking that doing so would put their minds off the tragedy.
Though reports are still hazy about what may have actually happened to the deceased employee, one can peek through the wave of one-star reviews on Yelp to find customers rehashing the same basic information. According to the myriad folks who have left bad comments, co-owner Scott Kamalski was actually on site during the suicide. The proper municipal authorities were called, including the coroner, who quickly arrived on site to deal with the tough situation.
On Yelp, some reviewers alleged that Kamalski demanded that employees return to work immediately, rather than close the shop to allow grieving and shaken employees to go home for the day. Since the incident, Buzz has been fed nothing but negative comments across the entire social media landscape, including Instagram.
Buzz is currently closed despite a stated opening time of 12 p.m., but will open at 5 p.m. as usual.
Note: An earlier version of this article stated that the incident occurred on September 21. It's been amended to September 14. A full statement from owner Scott Kamalski is below:
Update 11/16: After having their Yelp account unfrozen, many of the negative reviews surrounding this incident have been removed from Buzz Wine Beer Shop's Yelp page, including the ones previously mentioned and linked to above. Owner Scott Kamalski has been asked if he'd like to provide an updated statement regarding this unfortunate incident, and Eater will update the post should he decide to do so.