Legendary Downtown All-Ages Club The Smell Is Set For Demolition
This morning, The Smell, the legendary all-ages DIY venue in downtown L.A. that fostered the rise of bands like No Age, Mika Miko, and Best Coast (just to name a very few), shared a photo of a demolition notice that had been posted on their building.
According to the notice, the entire one-story building with addresses 245 to 249 S. Main Street. is owned by L & R Group of Companies, "a privately held, well-capitalized organization that owns and operates parking facilities throughout the United States," including WallyPark and Joe's Auto Parks.
This cannot be good.
The "note" on the notice is particularly ominous, and reads: "Provided that the submitted plans comply with all Los Angeles Municipal codes and other applicable laws, public comment will have no impact on this project."
A county representative tells LAist that no information regarding the notice or plans for demolition has been made available yet, and won't be available until at least Tuesday, as all governmental offices are closed for the Memorial Day weekend. A search of the address on the L.A. Department of Building and Safety website yielded no results that would indicate the fate of the building, which also houses the wonderful, divey New Jalisco Bar.
Jim Smith, the owner of the Smell, tells LAist that he found out about the demolition on Friday night. "I suppose the signs have been there for many years, but I've suspected something like this was coming when our building was sold a year ago," he said. "I plan to do whatever I can to fight or delay this," he said.
Smith said that between the sale last year and now, operations at the Smell have carried on as they always have. Smith, who has owned the Smell for more than 18 years, has not been made aware of any timeline for demolition. While he's "still in the process of gathering information and accessing the situation," Smith said he plans to suspend booking beyond what has already been scheduled through the end of August, until he knows more about the situation.
L&R could not be reached for comment.
The impact of the Smell on music in the city, and quite frankly, Los Angeles as a whole, cannot be overstated. We'll have more information on the status of the Smell as we get it. Until then, enjoy this banger: