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North Hollywood Strippers Are Very Close to Joining Actors’ Equity Union

Plus, Black Restaurant Week returns, and North Hollywood’s Mucho Mas is back

A darkened room with red lights, tables, and stripper poles.
Star Garden Topless Dive Bar.
Star Garden Topless Dive Bar Facebook page
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

This week, dancers at the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar in North Hollywood filed a petition to form a union with the National Labor Relations Board. If the election is won and certified by NLRB, Star Garden will become unionized and affiliated with the Actors’ Equity Association, which represents live theater actors and professional stage managers and actors.

Back in March, Star Garden dancers began protesting what they allege as poor treatment, and claim the owners and security staff fostered an environment of harassment and were lax with worker safety and cleanliness.

In April, the group filed an Occupational Safety and Health Administration complaint over issues like bed bugs, broken glass, and rusty protruding nails on stage. The dancers also had concerns about health and safety with drunken customers, including an accusation towards a security employee who refused to assist in deleting video from a patron’s phone, a violation of a longstanding no-phones policy and etiquette at topless clubs.

The Los Angeles Times reports the dancers continue the protest by turning customers away, and notes the club’s owners, Stepan and Yevgenya “Jenny” Kazaryan failed to respond to requests for comment. In July, BuzzFeed News received a statement from an attorney representing the Kazaryans, who denied the allegations of misconduct.

Black Restaurant Week returns

Starting today until August 28, Black Restaurant Week returns to Los Angeles, featuring restaurants throughout the Southland including Les Sisters Southern Kitchen & BBQ, Wood Urban Kitchen, My Father’s Barbecue, and Hotville Chicken. Get over to the Black Restaurant Week website and see where to dine — not only in late August, but throughout the year.

Holy Cow BBQ expanding to Redondo Beach

Holy Cow BBQ announced a fourth location opening on August 25. This one’s in Redondo Beach at 1617 S. Pacific Coast Highway, and adds to the Holy Cow roster of restaurants in Santa Monica, West LA, and Culver City.

A positive review for N/soto

Los Angeles Times reviewer Bill Addison raved about the Mid City izakaya-inspired restaurant N/soto, where he clearly appreciates executive chef Yoji Tajima’s skill. Famed N/naka chefs Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama opened N/soto in April.

Longtime restaurant Mucho Mas makes a triumphant return

After it was gutted by fire in February 2020, the 42-year-old North Hollywood restaurant Mucho Mas reopened this week. Get the full story on NBC-4.

A beachside happy hour in Venice

If free time is available Wednesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., head over to the Waterfront on the Venice Boardwalk. If a $20 pitcher or $3 pretzel don’t appeal, there’s also an $89 magnum bottle of Summer Water Rose and half a dozen oysters available, and only steps away from the Pacific.

A switch-up at All Day Baby

If All Day Baby’s chicken-fried steak or one of the many of the popular dinner items are faves, it’s best to get over there soon. Starting September 1, the restaurant’s co-owner and chef Jonathan Whitener will some changes to the Silver Lake restaurant’s dinner menu. Co-owner Lien Ta described the shift on Instagram as “a pop-up at dinner.”