One Revolver Bar Partner May Buy Out the Other, Bringing an End to a Boystown Battle

chris miller, alfredo diaz, revolver
Revolver’s Chris Miller, left, and Alfredo Diaz, in happier days.

A contentious battle involving, if only peripherally, some of gay Los Angeles best known figures may be drawing to a close.

Alfredo Diaz, co-owner of Revolver, told WEHOville that he is discussing the possibility of selling his interest in Revolver Video Bar to his business partner, Chris Miller.

Miller sued Diaz in April 2013, alleging that he had misappropriated tens of thousands of dollars from the bar for personal use, including paying for parking tickets, buying patio furniture and installing a koi pond at his house. Miller also alleged that Diaz, who manages Revolver, had failed to pay $300,000 in state taxes on Revolver’s sales.

In response, Diaz has alleged that Miller, who also is co-president of Flower Films, Drew Barrymore’s production company, used some of Revolver’s money for personal items such as airfare. And he accused Miller of attacking him because of Diaz’s opposition to Cooley’s, a bar and restaurant that David Cooley, founder of The Abbey, plans to open on Santa Monica Boulevard near Robertson.

Diaz confirmed that he and Miller are discussing the sale of his interest but declined to discuss details. “It’s under discussion, but we haven’t reached an agreement,” he said. Miller did not return a call from WEHOville requesting comment. Miller’s suit is scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles Superior Court on Nov. 10.

Miller and Diaz each own 44.5 percent of Loaded Gun LLC, Revolver’s parent company. Kenneth Linzer, a partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Hobart Linzer, which has represented Loaded Gun, owns ten percent, and Ofir Lang, vice president for marketing at Nathan’s Glass and Mirror, owns one percent.

Meanwhile, Diaz filed  for personal bankruptcy yesterday. In papers filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, he claims debts of $1 million to $10 million and assets of $500,000 to $1 million. Among the creditors listed are Miller; Loaded Gun LLC, the parent company of Revolver, and the California Board of Equalization, which collects sales and use and alcohol sales taxes.

Revolver opened on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Larrabee Street in West Hollywood’s gay “Boystown” in October 2011. It replaced a bar called East/West, opened by Trip Wilmot in 2005, who sold it to Diaz and Miller in 2011. East/West was the successor to the original Revolver, which took its name from its revolving door. It opened in 1982, embracing the video bar craze fostered by MTV, which launched two years earlier.


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Anthony Lopez
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Anthony Lopez

Monte raised my rent just over 28% on my 1st 5 year option. Combined with an increase in property tax when he bought the building and insurance my new rent was $16,000 for 2510 sq ft. triple net lease. Before Monte $12,500 after Monte $16,000. (During a recession) its a nightmare trying to find a buyer for a business when the landlord won’t make reasonable concessions. The business owner will have to reduce the business sales price to attract any buyers. There are some things you just can’t predict or control. You live and learn.

Larry Block
Guest

Touché’ to John- your comments are spot on and the depth of your knowledge and your facts are correct. I’m guessing we travel in same circles!

John
Guest
John

I’m a laissez faire capitalist, and I agree with Larry Block here. WeHo’s landlords know how much the business owners are making, and they raise the rent to take as much of the profit as possible. A typical commercial lease for retail and restaurant space gives a portion of the tenant’s sales to the landlord as rent. Hence, the landlord always knows approximately what the business’ profit is, and can raise the base rent to take it. In simple businesses, like bars, a landlord can simply count the number of people entering each night, and get a very good idea… Read more »

Oy.
Guest
Oy.

“[The] city of weho or county of LA should take the land from them and redistribute it for reasonable rent and prices…”?!?! Good Lord, people are dim.

Larrabee Grouch
Guest
Larrabee Grouch

The tenants don’t last… the landlords are putting hardworking people out of business constantly. The only things that can survive in the neighborhood are bars and late night fast food (burger and pizza). Both have huge volume and markups, even the late night fast food owners have told me how little their actual profit margin is due to landlord greed. Well, I’m all for small business and capitalism but what we have, as Larry said, an oligopoly of landlords in our small area, it is fascism, and that is what the government needs to regulate.

SL
Guest
SL

What’s “reasonable” business? If a landlord charges too much rent, he won’t have tenants. Simple math. And taking the land from people to redistribute? Wow, Obama did make us all socialists, and I voted for him and gladly did so and still do.

I agree that Revolver sucks.

Larrabee Grouch
Guest
Larrabee Grouch

Larry’s right… there is one landlord in particular, who is extremely greedy and is driving out any reasonable business in this city. Terrible person. Too bad our city is owned by 4 people basically. very sick. if anything the city of weho or county of LA should take the land from them and redistribute it for reasonable rent and prices… Revolver… also greedy… all fluff, it was called a “classy upscale environment” compared to other bars, but that reeks of racism and classism, now look what happened… just a bar the size of a studio apartment charging 100x markup for… Read more »

SL
Guest
SL

Larry, “confidential information” that you now can’t disclose? Nice Cheney-esque dodge. Don’t leak out tidbits of “inside” info without corroboration. Some might view that tactic as credibility-shattering. Are what these landlords doing illegal? If so, do something about it instead of floating half-truths and innuendo you can’t fully support.

Larry Block
Guest

SL, yes I have proof, but confidential information and knowledge of my neighbors business is not suppose to be posted here. My statement is not sour grapes, my landlord is fantastic. Your reading into things instead of taking it at face value. If you are familiar with the 4 landlords that own all of boys town you might understand the dynamics.

SL
Guest
SL

Larry this is not the first time some of your comments have concerned me. You state that there is a small set of landlords who “milk” tenants. This sounds like sour grapes to me. Do you have proof? Just because you can’t afford the rent doesn’t mean you’re still entitled to be there. That’s basic economics. You cite these landlords as “counting…profit.” As a businessman I hope you are in it for the profit too. Are you running your store as a non-profit?

Larry Block
Guest

Revolver is staying open – and they have a long long lease. Eleven, sorry to see Rich go.. he is such a great part of the community.. word has it Champagne will be gone on December 31st, (not confirmed).. and looking east or west all you see is is a changing landscape…. the main problem.. an oligopoly of landlords who milk the tenants if they feel they are doing biz…counting their tenants profit instead of their expenses.

SL
Guest
SL

Diaz’s filing for personal bankruptcy doesn’t surprise me. It’s karma. Wonder how he’s going to blame Cooley for that.