West Hollywood West Residents Express Concern about Bottega Louie’s Rear Patio

Illustration of the front facade of Bottega Louie, 8936 Santa Monica Blvd. (Architect Bulli Architecture)

As Bottega Louie gets closer to completion, some changes in the rear of the bar and restaurant facing West Hollywood Park are worrying nearby residents.

Richard Giesbret, president of the West Hollywood West Residents Association, appeared before the city Planning Commission last night to call out changes negotiated with WHWRA for the original concept for the space at 8936 Santa Monica Blvd., which was for a bar and restaurant called Cooley’s.

Giesbret said a major change was elimination of a 16-foot glass wall that was intended to shield West Hollywood Park from possible noise from Cooley’s planned outdoor dining area and bar. He noted that the city’s Community Development Department approved the elimination of the 16-foot high wall without holding a public hearing before the Community Development director.

“In 2013 WHWRA came to an agreement with Cooleys to erect the 16-foot glass wall to capture noise from the terrace,” Giesbret told the Commission. “It’s a critical condition and it was eliminated by Community Development without a director’s hearing. The owner simply asked, and it was approved. This sets a precedent for the 30 to 40 other commercial properties on the park. So what happened to process in this situation? Where is the transparency, where is bureaucratic integrity?

“Only after the permit was issued was the truth revealed,” Giesbret said. “Is that how community development is supposed to operate? … Are you satisfied that the decisions you are making up there are executed properly? I truly wonder. I don’t like being lied to either.”

John Keho, the city’s interim director for Planning & Development Services, said the plan for Bottega Louie included removal of the bar proposed for the rear patio at Cooleys and converting a portion of the patio to an inside space. He said that an earlier plan to have a large, glass door that slides upward between the interior of the bar and restaurant and the rear patio has been changed. It is being replaced with a glass wall with glass doors, which is likely to mean less noise outside.

Keho said he would report to the Planning Commission at a later meeting with a copy of the staff report about the revised project.

  1. I don’t how anyone that lives across melrose Is going to hear the sound from a restaurant with a back patio on that alley. Like others have mentioned there are huge buildings and a ton of distance between that patio and melrose. Also I don’t know if you have ever been to their DTLA location, but if you have, they don’t play loud music so it will only be the chatter from people on the patio so there should be no issues. Also, the idea that they should have shell out the money for an expensive glass wall to be on the safe side is not fair to the business. If the sound is to loud it can easily be installed later if the sound is burdon.

  2. Well … Hmmmmm? … for all of you doubters … I live on Huntley … behind the Pacific Design Center … and I can hear the DJ and his music playing from the rooftop CATCH. So … the sound, somehow, makes its way around, over, or through the Pacific Design Center late at night so that I can get the joy of hearing it from my residence. So the point I guess is that the sound travels way more than the logical mind would imagine. Better be conservative and put the glass wall up.

  3. Can someone tell the community why this project was delayed for so long??? They started demo and then for months everything came to a standstill. We’d like to know what happened and have things started up again at this site. What is the new projected completion date? This site has been empty for years and we’d like to see this eyesore finally brought back to life. Thanks

  4. LA Doug – what you don’t realize is that sounds travels…sometimes to a greater distance than you think. We hear the bass/music from the clubs in my neighborhood and we’re 1/4 mile away. We never used to hear anything until more of the bars started to renovate into more open-air venues and the music gets pumped out all over.
    Better to be on the more conservative side of things (by requesting a wall) than after the place opens and the music level rises and neighborhoods are affected every day all night long. (by the way, glass by itself is not an insulator….so I don’t know how much a single pane of glass will mute sound..no matter how tall)

    1. JJ, that seems somewhat reasonable, but it would help if you could give us the approximate cross streets of where you live, and which clubs you are hearing noise from. The Catch rooftop bar, maybe?

      It seems like sound is not just going to have to travel far, but go through an entire park, library and/or the PDC to reach residential homes from this location. I lived on Larrabee for years, right above Cynthia, and never heard any noise from any club on Sunset or SMB. Of course, there was less outdoor space back in those days, but I have a difficult time believing that anyone is going to hear noise from Bottega Louie. Anyone living south of Melrose. It isn’t just the distance, but the giant buildings there, more of which are being built in the park at this very moment.

      You might be hard-pressed to find more non-residential space behind any commercial dining/nightlife establishment anywhere in the West Hollywood city limits than there is behind these businesses in front of that park on SMB.

    2. You don’t want places sitting empty but then burden a cafe and pastry shop that closes at 10:00p (downtown) with installing a 16′ glass wall just in case.
      I glassed in my standard size shower and it was $2500. A 16′ glass wall must cost well over $100K. Do you know how many macarons they have to sell to recoup that? If you want businesses here we have to stop making it so difficult for them to succeed.

  5. “Closer to completion”? Every day that I walk by this place it appears that nothing has been done in months.

  6. Part 2

    The focus should be on the city for allowing commercial buildings to change their approved design or business….
    The new condo building that has turned into a hotel on La Cienega / Sunset, without approval?

  7. “…shield West Hollywood Park from possible noise from Cooley’s”….some people have the need to complain. The patio is adjacent to an alley, no homes within 2 blocks, and the park? It’s a basketball court? The change seems to be appropriate given its going to be a restaurant/lounge versus the previous concept. What’s next Richard Giesbret….the need to have a 16′ wall on the sidewalks too?

    1. LADoug, I should certainly hope that a space that large would have two sets of bathrooms. One set on the West side to serve people from West Hollywood West and one set on the East side to serve the rest of us. Of course, some people will say the people using The bathrooms on the West side get better treatment, but that not so. In fact, I know that many people will be helpin’ workin’ in the kitchen to make their food, like especially the chocolate croissants served on the West side.

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