Larchmont Bungalow has closed unexpectedly this week, adding another twist in a long-standing struggle between the neighborhood and business since opening back in 2009. This past Tuesday, passersby found a note on the front door indicating a staff meeting, only to be replaced by a permanent closed sign an hour later.
This week’s closing is seen as a victory for the neighborhood activist group against Larchmont Bungalow’s partners, including Jonathan Ahron, Ken Bernard (formerly of the Alcove), and real estate developer Albert Mizrahi. Mizrahi passed away in 2016.
Over the years, many locals and city officials wondered aloud whether Larchmont Bungalow functioned as a furniture store or a restaurant. As a result, Larchmont Bungalow dealt with a number of city violations and a protracted battle with the I Love Larchmont community organization that kept them in and out of courtrooms since basically day one.
Most of the issues stem from Larchmont Bungalow being run without a certificate of occupancy, which put them afoul of the city and former Los Angeles City Council member Tom LaBonge. Confusingly, The Bungalow would (in the early days) offer food in a showroom-like environment with dining tables and chairs that were actually for sale, leaving customers unsure whether the establishment was for sit down or takeout dining — even though it only had a permit for the latter. That permit was revoked in 2009, and Mizrahi faced the City Attorney’s office for operating without a proper license and not heeding shutdown orders.
The city was clear then in their complaint, stating: "The plans approved by the LADBS did not indicate any indoor or outdoor seating,” and that "No seating for dining is allowed." According to LA Weekly, the Larchmont Bungalow was not welcome in the neighborhood after Mizrahi bought four Larchmont properties in 2007, and expelled the longtime businesses Larchmont Hardware, Floret Floral Design, and Larchmont Village Estate Jewelers.