Down for the Count for 3 Months, Larry Block and The Block Party Are Up Again

gayest store on earth, the block party, larry block
The Block Party

Like a champion boxer who manages to struggle back to his feet while the referee is doing the count, Larry Block and The Block Party are up for another round.

In an interview with WEHOville, Block said that Chris Miller, owner of Revolver, has dropped his plans to expand that video bar on the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Larrabee Street into the space occupied by The Block Party next door.

Block announced in December that his store would be closing after Miller obtained the permits and approvals he needed to expand the bar into the Block Party space. Block’s lease was set to expire at the end of the month, and Miller had a right of first refusal to take over the space.

Block had announced in 2015 that his lease had expired and would not be renewed, which spurred more debate about changes in WeHo’s Boystown area and whether it will survive as a gay-centric nightlife and shopping district. However in January 2016, Block said that his landlord had renewed his lease and he would be staying.

Larry Block
Larry Block.

While Block frequently expressed sadness over the past few months about the closing of his store, which he opened in 2009, he also said he was determined to move ahead. He explored other retail locations and the possibility of getting into the cannabis business.

With the renewal of his lease, Block said he is pushing ahead with an earlier plan to open a coffee and dessert bar with tables on the sidewalk outside the store, which is at 8853 Santa Monica Blvd. That will require going through a lengthy permit application process with the City of West Hollywood.

Block said the last three months have been difficult, with customers walking in and asking “When are you closing?” and saying they would miss the store. Open until 2 a.m. it has attracted both gay men and heterosexual customers with a wide variety of apparel, including somewhat risqué men’s underwear, as well as cigarettes and “poppers,” which are small vials of alkyl nitrite used by gay men to enhance sexual pleasure.

Block said he has just obtained an exclusive license to sell Andrew Christian-branded underwear at his WeHo store. Andrew Christian operated its own store not far away but recently closed, saying it was relocating to downtown Los Angeles. But so far it has not opened a shop there.

“We are moving forward,” Block said. “We’re excited. I’m happy to spend the next years here. We have to work out the new store front and how to get the various approvals.”

Block also praised his neighbors for their support, calling out especially Micky’s, on the west side of The Block Party, and its owner, Michael Niemeyer.

“Full steam ahead,” Block said. “We’ll continue to be the gayest store on earth, even gayer with Andrew Christian.”

WEHOville has reached out to Chris Miller but as of publication has not received a response.


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JG
Guest
JG

A bit bummed out, I was hoping we’d get Block Party at Circus of Books. Central WeHo is on the verge of turning straight . The new NY bar replacing Baby Blues , that’s next door to Delilah’s , across the street from Laurel Hardware . Anyone know what’s happening at the old Irv’s Burgers location ? Inclusive is one thing , but being forced out of our own Gay Community is always a bad thing !

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

Great news. I had a feeling Larry and Block Party would find a way. I’m glad it’s surfaced. The outside coffee and desert tables would have the only menu with underwear on it, mixed in with all the coffee drinks. Just think, now a customer would be able to order a cup of coffee, croissant, and a jock to go.

Tommy
Guest
Tommy

Yes, Craig. Look around the streets in general, the rainbow crosswalks – filthy and run down.

Local Yocal
Guest
Local Yocal

Im so glad your staying – Your shop represents the pride of WeHo, without it that area would turn into all overpriced bars that serve mostly the under 40 crowd.

Una
Guest
Una

Except for Trunks and Mother Lode, thank God!

MICHAEL Z
Guest
MICHAEL Z

WHAT GOOD NEWS !!!!!!!
SERVE COFFEE AND SNACKS AND I’LL BE VISITING EVERY DAY.
DELIGHTED YOU’RE STAYING DEAR LARRY…..
EVERYONE KNOWS LARRY BLOCK……SO MUCH PART OF WEHO

Craig
Guest
Craig

Would love to see you finally power wash the sidewalk in front of your store.

Tom Smart
Guest
Tom Smart

David Cooley got his start with Coffee & Dessert so perhaps you’ll be huge one day too!

kayaytche
Guest
kayaytche

FANTASTIC NEWS!! I’m so proud of you, Larry! You are SOARING!!

JJ
Guest
JJ

Would love to see it transition into more of a dessert/coffee shop with more of a variety of gift options (gay and non-gay). Congrats Larry.

carleton cronin
Guest
carleton cronin

You are so much a part of the community, Larry. Keep punching!

Paul
Guest
Paul

Great News! I love your store. It’s really my favorite place to shop and find affordable things in a can be myself atmosphere. Congrats!

Greg
Guest
Greg

I’m so glad they are staying because that shop adds so much character to the whole community.