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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » The Death of the Formosa Cafe (maybe not!)
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The Death of the Formosa Cafe (maybe not!)
Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 247
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2015-07-29 1:53 pm   Permalink

I haven’t been there since I left L.A. over twenty years ago, but my heart is absolutely broken hearing this news. Words can’t describe my anger and sadness. I'd rather have seen it burn down than to suffer this indignity.

http://www.eater.com/forums/los-angeles/2015/7/27/9049691/everyone-hates-the-new-formosa-cafe-remodel

History destroyed
http://youtu.be/iw-YGM1veE8


_______________

Classic Velvets
by Song Shen

[ This Message was edited by: Okolehao 2015-07-29 14:37 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Okolehao 2015-07-29 14:40 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Okolehao 2015-07-29 14:59 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Okolehao 2015-08-23 22:56 ]


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tikigreg
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1230
From: ClubTiki
Posted: 2015-07-29 4:35 pm   Permalink

You meant "Death", right?

 
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Thortiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2006
Posts: 372
From: Maryland (Land of Pleasant Tiki Living)
Posted: 2015-07-29 6:42 pm   Permalink

We got to go there about 6 years ago. Saw some recent interior photo's beyond bad from how cool it use to look. It is now a WRECKED Bar for sure )-:

 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 7048
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2015-07-29 7:10 pm   Permalink

Spent a lot of time there, one of the places that welcomed Punks back in the 1970s
sad days.


 
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Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 247
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2015-07-29 11:04 pm   Permalink

if the Formosa needed a new direction I wish they could have clued in on the tiki movement and made a commitment to a fine menu of tropical drinks. Hell, little old Tiki Ti's is just up the road and they'vs been turning away crowds for years. Forbidden Island is a modern version of the kind of bar that the Formosa could have been. Dark, brooding, and filled with stories.








Used in the movie L.A. Confidential
https://youtu.be/RriqsUo5TzI

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mike and marie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 307
Posted: 2015-07-30 6:50 pm   Permalink

We can't figure out why any of the employees didn't say anything. Did everyone get fired before the reopening? (Even that should have made some notice.) Wonder if all the photos and lamps and decor just got junked? The soft opening was Sunday, so construction probably has been done for a while. If we had a little notice we could have at least done some dumpster diving...

 
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Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 247
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2015-07-31 09:26 am   Permalink

I checked online and the Formosa Café is on the West Hollywood Historic resources inventory list. I'm not sure what kind of protections this designation gives to buildings but doesn't it cover any issues that are part of the interior of buildings?

 
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Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 247
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2015-08-01 12:22 am   Permalink









The Formosa location shoot
from the movie L.A. Confidential
http://youtu.be/RriqsUo5TzI

[ This Message was edited by: Okolehao 2015-08-01 00:29 ]


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surfalaia
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 07, 2009
Posts: 113
Posted: 2015-08-05 07:46 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2015-07-29 23:04, Okolehao wrote:
if the Formosa needed a new direction I wish they could have clued in on the tiki movement



Maybe they did once upon a time?





 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 7048
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2015-08-05 10:54 am   Permalink

Nope, it was always a Chinese restaurant
but like so many Chinese restaurants back in the 50s & 60s
they served up tropical cocktails.

[ This Message was edited by: Atomic Tiki Punk 2015-08-05 10:55 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11584
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2015-08-06 08:50 am   Permalink

Another example of how preservation is an uphill battle. Some years ago, a photographer friend of mine from the music video days led the movement to save the Formosa from being torn down, and they succeeded. And now this! It is impossible to monitor these things on a continuous basis.

I spent many of my early Hollywood evenings there in the 80s, enjoying veteran bartender Lindy's Martinis and admiring their liquor decanter collection. A more authentic Hollywood watering hole cannot be imagined. I owned the great red menu, but have no idea where it went now.



Now this thumbnail-sized image is the only visual that one can find of it. What gets me is we are not talking some unknown suburb like Whittier here: This was classic HOLLYWOOD, a world-famous place !?? - and just like classic Las Vegas, it gets destroyed!


 
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Thortiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2006
Posts: 372
From: Maryland (Land of Pleasant Tiki Living)
Posted: 2015-08-06 08:59 am   Permalink

Cam someone post a current interior pic of the DAMAGES )-:

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11584
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2015-08-07 1:04 pm   Permalink

Can't find any. Ran into Rocky Schenck last night in the line to the Korla Pandit docu - he was the one that had spearheaded the successful conservation efforts years ago - and someone had a "Before & After" on their I-phone, don't know from where.

To my embarrasment, I expressed my condolences to Rocky - but he didn't even know about the remodel! Oi vey, what a shock.

Here's a great history of a great place that lasted sooo long - it should have out-lived us:

https://federicodecalifornia.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/youre-nothin-but-a-cheap-imitation-of-lana-turner-the-legendary-formosa-cafe-•-1929/

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tikilongbeach
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1615
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2015-08-07 3:03 pm   Permalink

Esotouric posted on Facebook that after the conservation fight nobody filed the needed paperwork.

http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/?u=b66e7337c52f4fda66146f8ed&id=e9a9a53943

...How had this happened? Wasn't the Formosa on the short list of official landmarks of West Hollywood, and thus protected from insensitive alteration? Shouldn't there have been some warning if it was at risk of such an extreme remodel?

These questions nagged at our friends Kate Eggert and Krisy K. Gosney, the dedicated preservationists behind West Hollywood Heritage Project. So they started digging into the Mystery of the Mucked Up Formosa, and what they found was truly shocking.

Because it turns out the Formosa wasn't quite the landmark that local preservationists--or even the city of West Hollywood--said it was. The previously-endangered building had been "saved" from redevelopment decades earlier, but apparently everyone involved in the preservation campaign was so busy celebrating their victory that they failed to actually file the paperwork required to codify the matter in law.

Despite this lack of any official status, the city proudly claimed the Formosa as a treasured landmark. And so, it wasn't on anyone's radar as a place that needed to be watched carefully, lest foolish owners destroy the treasure in their care.
_________________
-Lori


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Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 247
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2015-08-07 6:59 pm   Permalink

From The West Hollywood Heritage Project
http://westhollywoodheritageproject.com/blog/2015/8/5/the-formosa-cafe-update-on-recent-interior-changes
'The Development Agreement states that the Formosa Café building and red car be treated similar to a designated building, in that it is protected and requires any changes to be approved by the city. The interior may not be protected though because West Hollywood Local Cultural Resources usually only specify exteriors as protected. However, since the Formosa Café is protected then any changes to the exterior and interior need to be approved by the city prior to making the changes.

The West Hollywood Heritage Project is currently verifying if the interior of the Formosa Café is or is not protected under the Comprehensive Development Plan for the site.

However, the West Hollywood Heritage Project has verified that the city does not have any record of permits pulled for interior changes, or change of tenant notification. The city has referred the issue to their Code Compliance Division to investigate.'

*Any remodeling done without permits is a major no no. I'd love to see the place red tagged and the owners made to restore the interior.


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