Two developers have joined forces to build a hotel on the site of the Barney’s Beanery restaurant on Holloway Drive and Hacienda Place in West Hollywood. The lot is located just west of 8447 Santa Monica Blvd.
The proposed hotel would have 113 rooms with a below-grade live music space and recording studio. It would replace the existing surface parking lot with approximately 244 underground parking spaces. The project also would include the existing Barney’s Beanery, which will be disassembled and then restored to its current location at the center of the site. The site now also houses the Niko Niko sushi restaurant.
Barney’s, which opened in 1927, is known for customers such as musicians Jim Morrison of the Doors and Janis Joplin, poet Charles Bukowski and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino, who is said to have written the script for “Pulp Fiction” at Barney’s. It also is known for a sign that read “Fagots Stay Out.” That sign was removed in December 1984, days after West Hollywood was incorporated as its own city, by then-mayor Valerie Terrigno and the city council.
The developer is Barneys VE LLC, a partnership of VE Equities and Plus Development Group. Photos of the proposed project were displayed to neighbors at a meeting last night at the Palihouse hotel on Holloway.
“The building floors above the Barney’s building are cut back and angled in a faceted fashion to highlight the restaurant’s connection to the pedestrian experience on Santa Monica Boulevard,” said project architect Christian Robert of R&A Architecture + Design Inc. “I am especially pleased that we are able to both celebrate our community’s history and give this structure new life.”
To reduce potential traffic congestion, all drop off and pick up areas for the hotel are located below grade. The upper floors configure the hotel rooms along a heavily landscaped U-shaped courtyard that opens towards Santa Monica Boulevard.
Above the first floor, the courtyard divides the building into two distinct sections that will be clad in different materials to provide articulation and visual interest while reducing overall massing. The project’s five-and-one-half story height is similar in scale to the five-story condominium building to the north, the four-story Palihouse hotel across Hacienda Place to the west and other nearby buildings. The seven-story Emser Tile building is located one-half block to the east.
“8447 Santa Monica Boulevard is still in early planning stages,” said project spokesman Steven Afriat, referring to the project by its official name. “Our team will continue to engage and dialogue with our neighbors to move forward with a unique, only-in-WeHo project.”
The project has not yet been submitted for approval to the City of West Hollywood. Currently eight new hotels are under construction, have been approved for construction or are being reviewed by city planners. The new hotels approved for construction in West Hollywood will increase the 2,058 hotel rooms in the city by nearly 50 percent in the next few years. And the several other projects in WeHo that are not yet approved but under discussion would boost that increase to 62 percent. The city council in July 2015 authorized a study of the impact of new hotels on the city’s existing hotel business.
Further information about the 8447 Santa Monica Boulevard project and future plans for the original Barney’s Beanery restaurant can be found online.