The future of Barney’s Beanery West Hollywood fell into uncertainty in 2016, as developers planned to disassemble and eventually rebuild the 91-year-old restaurant and bar, while installing a new hotel, apartments, and additional eateries above it. Two years later, the restaurant remains open and intact, but the development is still in the planning phase. There’s been plenty of activity in the last few months, along with a new look for the potential hotel and longtime eatery.
Barney’s WeHo maintains some of LA’s best bar folklore. The Doors frontman Jim Morrison allegedly urinated on the bar. It’s apparently the site where Quentin Tarantino wrote “Pulp Fiction.” And it’s rumored to be Janis Joplin’s final drinking place before her death in 1970. Barney’s was also notorious for its homophobic sign, “Fagots Stay Out,” which was removed in 1984.
With that, here’s a timeline of events, and what could be on the horizon for the iconic restaurant and for the massive West Hollywood development.
Two years ago, Barney’s owners, Plus Development Group, and VE Equities submitted a project application to the City of West Hollywood. This early application was for a mixed-use development that would’ve rebuilt Barney’s Beanery back into the site. The hotel would’ve included 113 rooms, an underground live music space and recording studio, and 244 underground parking spaces. The principal architect for the project was R&A Architecture + Design Inc.
The community expressed concerns with the notion of closing, dismantling, and storing Barney’s until it could be rehabbed and rebuilt on the ground floor of the new property.
During a two-year lapse, a group of new developers emerged, including The Vella Group, nearby restaurants Ysabel and Laurel Hardware, and Barney’s Beanery’s current owner. The group also hired the firm that designed the George Lucas museum, MAD Architects. The current plan now includes 45 apartments, with 11 units below-market-rate, 88 hotel rooms, an an underground 80-seat music venue with recording studio, and of course, restaurants. Two other restaurants are included, but the new building will wrap around Barney’s, keeping the current structure intact.
October 9, 2018
The site’s future is still uncertain, as the development wades through the approval process within the City of West Hollywood. And in hopes of appealing to West Hollywood residents, the site’s developers hosted a community meeting last week to share information with locals.
Barney’s Beanery. 8445 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood