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Sorry, Silver Lake Is Not Getting A Gun Shop

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Nestled in the heart of Silver Lake on Hyperion Avenue is the shuttered MJ's gay bar that sits next to a busy Trader Joe's. And over the weekend, local folks got punked into thinking that a new owner would be taking over the spot, namely the Silver Lake Gun Shop. Is this another Nathan Fielder prank?

And we can't blame them for wondering. A huge banner hung over the gray facade of the building, with clip-art quality pictures of the American flag, fireworks and guns, accompanying the text: "Coming Soon, Silver Lake Gun Shop, (844) 340-GUNS, www.silverlakegunshop.com." If you went to the website, you'd get a barrage of 90s-style gifs of fluttering American flags and soaring eagles—like something you might find on an Angelfire or Geocities webpage.

LAist stopped by the space to investigate and saw that the sign had been taken down. A Trader Joe's employee who was walking by said that the gun shop sign had caused a stir in the area, and people were "pissed" that a gun shop would be opening in the area. One of his coworkers said he had talked to the owner of the bar and said that it was all just a prank, but he was still under the impression that the new bar would be called the Silver Lake Gun Club. He said this while he flexed his muscles.

Reza Fahim, the owner of what in fact will be a bar, stepped out of the door. He said that it was an "ambitious," but "bullshit prank" someone pulled on him. The bar is still under construction for remodeling, and he told LAist that it was actually going to be called the Tenants of the Trees. It's going to be "an indoor/outdoor enchanted cocktail bar filled with trees that evokes vibes of Beach towns in South America."

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It's ironic that the pranksters would pretend the bar was going to be a gun shop, Fahim said: "It's going to be the most peaceful, enchanted garden bar vibe ever."

Fahim found the sign on his building on July 3, and took it down. I asked if he had seen the website. He had and noted again that it was an "ambitious" effort. When I called the number listed on the banner today, the phone rang endlessly. However, Fahim said that when he called the other day, he reached a voicemail message with a greeting saying that it was for the Silver Lake Gun Shop.

I also sent a message to the email address listed on the Silver Lake Gun Shop website asking for more information. After I spoke to Fahrim, I received a reply back from "Steve" who responded with: "Hi! What would you like to know?" I was tempted to pretend I didn't know the truth and ask whether they'd stock vintage pistols to appeal to steampunk hipsters, but instead I asked why he pulled the prank.

I don't expect to hear back. And so the mystery of why Steve felt so compelled to pull such an elaborate prank full of glorious American-themed clip art continues.