Abbey’s David Cooley to Develop 10,000-Square-Foot Bar and Restaurant in WeHo

Wed, May 08, 2013   By Staff    7 Comments

new david cooley barNightclub impresario David Cooley, who created The Abbey gay bar in the early 1990s, announced Wednesday he is developing a restaurant and bar along Santa Monica Boulevard to compliment The Abbey in West Hollywood.

Cooley will work with his management team at The Abbey, one of America’s most well-known gay bars, to bring his concept to 10,000 square feet of retail space at 8936 Santa Monica Boulevard, which includes the former Raffi Jewelry and Balliamos dance studio spaces, and the current Unicorn Alley adult store.

According to Abbey publicist Brian Rosman, Cooley signed a lease on the spaces Tuesday afternoon.

Cooley will also build a 3,000-square-foot patio overlooking Santa Monica Boulevard and a “large terrace” overlooking West Hollywood Park.

The announcement puts to rest rumors swirling around the westside that sbe, the restaurant, nightclub and hotel empire founded by Sam Nazarian, which owns the Abbey, was looking to develop the spaces.

According to Rosman, Cooley “is leading this project from concept to execution.”

Cooley’s move comes shortly after the announcement that Lisa Vanderpump, the reality TV star who owns “Sur” on North Robertson, is opening up a second West Hollywood restaurant and lounge on the corner of Santa Monica and Robertson boulevards. That restaurant, to be named P.U.M.P., will neighbor Cooley’s space.

Immediately behind P.U.M.P. on Robertson is Here Lounge and the Abbey.

Along with Mother Lode bar, which is in between P.U.M.P. and Cooley’s concept, a massive cluster of nightlife venues will dominate the southeast corner of Robertson and Santa Monica boulevards.

In a press release, Cooley said he will announce specific plans for the project in the coming months.

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7 Comments

  1. Todd BiancoWed, May 08, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    While I’m glad to see empty storefronts come to life again, I’m not excited about another pricey “lounge” or whatever hipster designation the new venue will get. Is there no end to the number of $15 martinis that can be sold in a one block radius?

    The Abbey operated for over a decade as bar and nightclub with only a permit to serve alcohol with food (a restaurant permit) before it magically got legalized to be the mammoth money bar, restaurant, nightclub and lounge that it is now. I wonder how easy it will be to get the necessary alcohol sales permit it will need to make the kind of money it will need to repay this seemingly massive investment.

    I also hope the the Mother Lode survives between it’s new P.U.M.P. and SBE/Cooley neighbors.

  2. marco colantonioWed, May 08, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    This is truly Great News for Weho nightlife and that dismal, vacant side of SMB. David Cooley is the best club operator in town with the savvy and financing to make it work. We are lucky that he continues to invest in Weho and his efforts will encourage others to do the same.

  3. nickguillory (@nickguillory)Wed, May 08, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Child, motherload will be fine. No one can match the potency/cheapness of those cocktails.

  4. Julian GarciaWed, May 08, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Yeah, Yeah no negative reviews dammit. This means more jobs. Congrats to Mr. David Cooley and, the SBE team. I would love to work there.

  5. Carlos GreenThu, May 09, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Mr. Cooley isn’t suggesting that he is not developing this project with SBE did he? Becasue this project has been in the planning stages at SBE’s corporate office for some time. The only reason to hide SBE’s involvement would be to shake free from the “Gar bar owned by a Straight Company” stigma the Abbey currently has. Really it’s just more of the same. Let’s be honest about it, this will be a nightclub with a small food component. At over 13,000 square feet, slightly smaller than the Abbey, this is a nightclub. That is unless SBE has a version of the Cheesecake factory they plan to roll out? It is by far easier to garner public support by stating it’s a restaurant and bar when really it’s a massive nightclub 50% owned by Sam Nazarian with David Cooley as the public face.

  6. MeSat, May 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    seems some people are forgetting that cooley went to the mother lode’s building owner and offered a lot of money to get them thrown out…..the mother lode, around since the 1970′s and was “rascals” before that, was given a chance to match that much higher rent, which they did….

  7. JDThu, May 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    This is going to be gross. More drunken straight people.

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