Cooley’s Gets City Permits and Now Anticipates Opening Next Summer

A rendering of Cooley's as seen from Santa Monica Boulevard.
A rendering of Cooley’s as seen from Santa Monica Boulevard.

There’s a clear light at the end of the long tunnel that Abbey founder David Cooley has had to travel to open Cooley’s.

Cooleys, David Cooley
David Cooley receiving his West Hollywood permit for his Cooley’s gastropub.

Today Cooley was handed the building permit he needs from the City of West Hollywood for his gastropub, which will occupy three commercial spaces on the south side of Santa Monica Boulevard just east of Robertson. The Cooley’s space formerly housed Raffi’s Jewelers, Balliamos dance studio and Unicorn Alley, an “adult” store. Cooley’s will occupy 5,632 square feet of interior space and also include front and rear patios.

The fact that there has been no evident progress on construction at Cooleys, the opening of which had been anticipated for this past summer, has led some in WeHo’s Boystown community to wonder if it would never open.

But David Cooley has had to go through the same rigorous permit process applied to all new businesses in West Hollywood. His process was complicated by the need to secure the city’s permission to serve alcoholic beverages and have outdoor dining areas. Another complication was the vociferous opposition of Alfredo Diaz, the former manager of Revolver Video Bar nearby.

Diaz appeared before the city’s Community Development director, the Planning Commission and the West Hollywood City Council to ask that the permits Cooley’s needed be denied. Among his concerns was that the outdoor patio at the rear of Cooley’s facing West Hollywood Park would expose children in the park to drinking and possibly other inappropriate behavior. Diaz said that he and his partner Mike Stommel, frequently took their children to the park.

The City Council gave its final approval to Cooley’s plans in March. Since then Diaz has been removed as managing partner of Revolver after being sued by his business partner, Chris Miller, who alleges Diaz embezzled money from the business.

“Good things can take time,” Cooley said of the permit process.  “It took a while to get our construction plans approved because we’re combining three existing spaces into one and creating something completely new for West Hollywood. The team at the city has been very supportive of our project, and we are excited to finally start construction. Everybody should keep checking our social media channels for updates as we build Cooley’s.  We hope to be open in time for Pride next year.”

  1. No restaurants in that area? Really? Let’s see… Cafe d’Etoile, St. Felix, The Horn, Gangnam, Village Pizza, Champagne Bistro, PUMP, Raw, Hamburger Habit Bossa Nova..And that’s just between San Vicente and Robertson. What we really need are affordable places. Most of these are expensive or quasi-fast food. I live in Weho but find that I have to go outside our little boystown urban village to find good food at reasonable prices. I’m all for places to eat, but it would be nice to have a mixture of businesses. Cooley’s will do well (he probably learned from his failed restaurant years ago where Fiesta Cantina now is).

  2. Clearly @brian holt has not traveled the world to see how incredible this area could be where eateries line streets and make for such wonderful neighborhoods like other major cities. Love what is happening here and could not be a nicer better person than Cooley to do it!

  3. @Larr, the point isn’t whether or not his is putting his own money into it — the point is that he is very influential, and look how long this took him.

  4. There aren’t enough restaurants. It all depends on demand and the disposable income of the area. A foodcourt maintains just as many if not more restaurants. If you build it they will come.

  5. The Abbey is an iconic anchor in “Boystown” garnering international recognition and acclaim, thus drawing crowds and fueling the economy of our nightlife district. This benefits all neighboring businesses so Congrats David; you are an inspiration to entrepreneurs and deserve much gratitude for your unwavering commitment to West Hollywood. No one can imagine Weho without “The Abbey” and I expect we will all feel the same way about your eponymous new establishment.

  6. @Brian Holt, you must be thinking of another area. There is almost NO place to eat on that block, aside from Pizza Rustica and the just opened Skinny Kitchen. The area needs MORE restaurants, not less. It needs a reason for people to come aside from bars. Rights now it’s a completing boring, one-note town: bars, bars, and more bars. No retail can survive there.

  7. What was once known as “Boystown” has just been killed. p.s. Flores St. it is not His money. It’s a terrible mistake and an obvious political back deal done.

  8. Do we really need another gastro-anything? Seriously. How many restuarants do we have on that square block alone. Obviously, Cooley is no dummy, and I’m confident he’ll build something pretty cool. I’m just feeling completely underwhelmed at the idea of another eaterie.

    Somewhat unrelated and not Cooley’s problem, but here’s a thought: Why not move the gay and lesbian center closer to the heart of things.

  9. Obviously, we don’t know yet what this place will be like, but can you imagine how long it would take someone to open a business who didn’t have his level of wealth, influence and connections?!

  10. Seems like only yesterday when Cooley was a barista owner of the original Abbey (where Bossa Nova is now), cutting slices of cakes and ringing the cash register at their tiny counter.

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