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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!)
Thortiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2006
Posts: 373
From: Maryland (Land of Pleasant Tiki Living)
Posted: 2015-08-08 5:00 pm   Permalink

THANKS Bigbro, TikilongB & Okolehao for the story links & info. Seems like a dumb business move by the ownership aside from the legal development agreement issues. Now its a real Hollywood movie front with a fake interior.

 
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Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 247
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2015-08-09 1:34 pm   Permalink

A final toast.



Filmed at the Formosa-
The Blanks
http://youtu.be/WA26qeLJ2Ug

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Classic Velvets
by Song Shen

[ This Message was edited by: Okolehao 2015-08-09 14:26 ]


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Kitschykitty
Member

Joined: Aug 23, 2015
Posts: 2
Posted: 2015-08-23 5:44 pm   Permalink

Hey everyone, the Formosa isn't dead yet. I live nearby and was horrified when I walked in and saw the remodel. It was so bothersome that I reached out to the owners to see what could be done. Essentially the new guys didn't know what they had done. They had to put in new walls to erridicate mold but didn't understand the history of everything inside.

Good new is, it didn't get thrown away. I am now involved with bringing it back and rebuilt. We have about 2 weeks to get it done and I could use your help. I'm trying to get the antique Chinese lanterns repaired as pieces are missing. Know of anyone.? The backbar is being rebuilt, if anyone is good at that and wants to volunteer some time, please connect with me.

My name is Stacy and I've set up the email address of
SaveTheFormosa@gmail.com. Let's get her back where she needs to be!

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AceExplorer
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2200
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2015-08-23 6:06 pm   Permalink

Stacy, that's rockin' good news, I think you've come to the right place to ask for both help and support. I'm on the East Coast, but wish you and your team all the best. I'm looking forward to a success story, and then some great photos.

Cheers!


 
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tikigreg
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1238
From: ClubTiki
Posted: 2015-08-23 6:19 pm   Permalink

Oh, so no death as of yet. Good news.


[ This Message was edited by: tikigreg 2015-08-24 06:51 ]


 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3673
From: HELL
Posted: 2015-08-24 7:02 pm   Permalink

owners didn't understand the history ?? if I'm not mistaken, the grandson was the current owner when i was there in 2010 and i assure you he had plenty to say about the history of the place. in fact they were embroiled in a lawsuit with a place here in illinios that supposedly stole the name formosa cafe and copied the look of the formosa cafe almost completely. when i heard the bad news i couldn't believe that he of all people would let this happen to his place. Are these new owners now ?? a lot can happen in a short time so maybe something changed since i was there last.

 
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Kitschykitty
Member

Joined: Aug 23, 2015
Posts: 2
Posted: 2015-08-24 8:47 pm   Permalink

The grandson, Vince, is still the owner and has ridden the tough economy out over the last several years and after meeting with him today, that is not about to end. Everything that was part of the Formosa was lovingly stored and the resurrection of this wonder history will continue. Stay tuned for more good and exciting news to come. Then you can all plan your vacations to Los Angeles and visit her again and again for years to come.

I will keep you posted with updates!

[ This Message was edited by: Kitschykitty 2015-08-27 20:20 ]


 
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heylownine
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Posts: 914
From: Agoura Hills, CA
Posted: 2015-10-24 12:20 am   Permalink

http://la.eater.com/2015/10/23/9604256/formosa-cafe-remodel-news-brg-details

Kevin
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if it's not a little complicated, it's probably not worth it.
5 Minutes of Rum
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Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 247
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2015-11-04 9:08 pm   Permalink

From Los Angeles Eater

Formosa Cafe Wants to Return to Its Former Glory With

Good news for conservationists.

Earlier this year, West Hollywood’s beloved Formosa Cafe came under attack after word spread that new management had come in with plans to overhaul the place without much regard towards the history of the restaurant. Well as it turns out that company, BRG (as in Broseph’s Restaurant Group, responsible for such bro-tastic spots as Brick + Mortar in Santa Monica and Open Air Kitchen + Bar), is now no longer involved.

Apparently Formosa owner Vince Jung and the BRG team, who had operational and management control, realized pretty quickly they weren't seeing eye-to-eye on the future of the storied haunt, which has played host to endless Hollywood luminaries over the decades. The neighborhood and conservationists had plenty to say as well, hammering the joint for tearing away much of the iconic photography and old school touches that made the place so beloved.

Well now BRG is gone (apparently the untangling took a while), and Jung and his team are more committed than ever to returning the place to its sense of former glory, while also cleaning it up and modernizing for the next generation to enjoy. Most of the 200+ photographs from the restaurant are being rehabbed and returned to their original locations, and the none-too-classy mural inside is being painted over and replaced with an original mirror as we speak.

The Formosa team will also be looking for help during the rehab, namely in the form of a ticketed Halloween party called the Dead Hollywood Halloween and Red Booth Fundraiser. The idea is to use the ticket funds and any donated money to help pay to reupholster the red vinyl booths, a staple of the look of the Formosa Cafe since essentially day one.

Other than that, things will progress slowly, as there’s a lot to touch up and redo inside. But it’s good to see one of Los Angeles’ most revered spaces being returned to the glory it once knew, without the help of a management company not exactly known for their soft touch.



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tikicoma
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Posts: 720
From: wakinekona
Posted: 2015-11-21 12:23 pm   Permalink

bump

 
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Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 247
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2016-11-13 7:50 pm   Permalink

Are there any updates on what has been happening at the Formosa?

 
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Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 247
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2017-06-05 7:13 pm   Permalink

From Los Angeles Magazine:

EXCLUSIVE: The Formosa Cafe is Coming Back
The landmark has new owners who plan to resurrect its vintage look

Chris NicholsJune 5, 2017

Six months after the Formosa Café on Santa Monica Boulevard unexpectedly shuttered, the West Hollywood landmark is coming back to life. The ancient Chinese restaurant, known for its famous clientele and appearances in films including L.A. Confidential, will be restored by the 1933 Group and will reopen next summer. Owners Bobby Green, Dimitri Komarov, and Dima Liberman have signed a long-term lease with the owners of the West Hollywood Gateway shopping center, which owns the restaurant property.

The restaurant was opened by prizefighter Jimmy Bernstein and run by Lem Quon for generations. Quon’s grandson Vince continued the tradition in recent years. He eventually brought in an outside operator who remodeled the interior without permission, causing uproar among fans. “We’re gonna put it all back,” said 1933’s Bobby Green. “Vince has everything in storage: All the autographed photos, all the Elvis decanters, the lucky Buddha. He’s got everything.”

Coming off of two groundbreaking historic preservation projects–The Idle Hour in North Hollywood and the Highland Park Bowl–the 1933 Group is making a name bringing back old landmarks. “In a time when beloved establishments are closing throughout Los Angeles,” says 1933 co-owner Dimitri Komarov. “It’s important for us as a company to breathe new life into places that can be saved.”

The group plans to keep the neon façade, the bar, and the 1902 train car dining room, and it will use vintage photos to guide the restoration of the original red vinyl booths and Chinese lanterns that longtime patrons remember. “I want it to have the feel of the 1930s to 1960s,” said Green. “They kept adding and adding to it. I probably don’t need a photo of Johnny Depp on the wall.”

A rooftop deck and other additions made in 2001 will be Benjamin Buttoned to look like they’ve always been there. A back room recently used for comedy nights and karaoke will become an additional dining room featuring classic Chinese cuisine. “We’d love to do dim sum. We’ll probably do some modern takes on lo mein,” Green said. “It won’t be your grandmother’s lo mein".
http://www.lamag.com/askchris/exclusive-formosa-cafe-coming-back/

[ This Message was edited by: Okolehao 2017-06-05 19:17 ]


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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 269
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-06-06 07:24 am   Permalink

Well, this is certainly encouraging. I've always felt LA's history lasts only until the next bulldozer comes along. Here's hoping they really can turn back the clock on progress!

 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1853
From: San Diego
Posted: 2017-06-06 10:58 am   Permalink

I was excited to see the news today. 1933 is a great company that owns many bars in LA, so we know they have the funds and the know-how. 1933 runs Sassafras, Harlowe, Idle Hour, La Cuevita, Oldfields, Bigfoot, Thirsty Crow and Highland Park Bowl. I can't wait to see what they come up with for the Formosa!

 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1853
From: San Diego
Posted: 2017-10-11 7:38 pm   Permalink

Vote up to 5 times daily to save the Formosa Cafe!

www.Savetheformosa.com

[ This Message was edited by: lunavideogames 2017-10-11 19:38 ]


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