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Battle over outdoor dining roils Larchmont Boulevard

November 12, 2009 |  5:55 pm

Larchmont Boulevard
When Larchmont Bungalow opened a couple of weeks ago, the “Artisan Cafe, Bakery and Brew” coffeehouse seemed a perfect fit for the tony neighborhood, with its exposed wooden beams, reconditioned hardwood floors and roasting coffee wafting through the airy space.

But there was just one problem — and it had everything to do with the chairs and tables where patrons sat, drank coffee and noshed on offerings such as red velvet pancakes and jerk chicken sliders.

Those chairs and tables, a group of residents says, threaten the very fabric of Larchmont Village because they transformed what had been permitted as a take-out restaurant into something vastly different.

Because the business offers patrons a place to sit and eat, they said, it knowingly violates a series of longstanding ordinances for the neighborhood known as “Q conditions” that, among other things, limit the number of restaurants in the shopping district. Plans for the business showed retail and a bakery — but not tables and chairs.

The controversy underscores a long-simmering battle on the boulevard that L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge, who represents the area, calls “our American Main Street.” Read more here: 

Photo: Tables and chairs outside Larchmont Bungalow are tagged for sale.

Credit: Richard DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

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