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Cafe Tropical Employees Are Missing Thousands in Paychecks

Plus, Hyperion Public closed, an Uncle Paulie’s collab, and more

Purple colored Tropical Cafe on Sunset Blvd show a growing trend in coloring with colors outside the
Outside Cafe Tropical on Sunset Boulevard.
Photo by Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Times reports that employees of Café Tropical still haven’t received their final paycheck after the restaurant suddenly closed on December 1. The new report also attributes the closure in part to a family conflict between Daniel Navarro and his mother who sued him for misusing funds. The financial issues started well before the closure though, with instances of bounced checks and unpaid vendors starting months before December.

A GoFundMe has been started to help support the employees as they search for new work. The most recent update on the site is from January 6 and says that employees had checks bounced due to insufficient funds, and are unable to contact the owner due to a changed number.

Along with Café Tropical, Navarro also closed his other restaurants around the neighborhood, Bolita, a bar in Virgil Village, and El Cochinito, a Silver Lake Cuban eatery that was famous for its Cuban sandwich.

The Dragon closes after 40 years

The Dragon, Koreatown’s longstanding Korean-Chinese restaurant, served its last plates of jajangmyeon over the weekend after being in business for over 40 years. The restaurant opened in 1980 and has been a go-to for gatherings, celebrations, and more.

Early news of the closure came from the Korea Daily, which reported that the property is slated to be developed into a 90-unit mixed apartment building starting next month. Though Koreatown needs more housing, the closing of the Dragon is a loss for the neighborhood.

This is not the first major closure that has hit Koreatown in the last few years. Beverly Soon Tofu, which opened in 1986, closed permanently in 2020.

ABC shuts down Hyperion Public

In an Instagram post over the weekend, Silver Lake bar Hyperion Public announced that it has closed for good. It looks like the ABC had initially shut the bar down on January 16, but the business continued to operate until two days ago. In the Instagram post, Hyperion Public attributes the closures to “technicalities from years ago that cannot be fixed.”

Uncle Paulie’s Deli drops a shoe collab

The famed Uncle Paulie’s Deli has collaborated with shoe brand Lusso Cloud on a new shoe featuring a blue-swirl pattern, and Uncle Paulie’s hang tag. This isn’t the first time Uncle Paulie’s has gotten into the merch game with a collaboration with Carhartt Work in Progress available on the website, along with other T-shirts, sweatshirts, and more.

Pizza Hut workers on strike

On Friday, January 26, workers at the Filipinotown Pizza Hut location went on strike to protest alleged wage theft and what the Instagram post announcement characterizes as “chaotic, abusive scheduling” at the store. The strike comes after Pizza Hut announced recent sweeping layoffs amid, as the post claims, “double-digit profit increases across the industry.”