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Ousted Cat & Fiddle Owners: 'Hollywood, We Are Worried For Your Fate'

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Yesterday, it was announced that Hollywood's Cat & Fiddle will be closing on December 15 after a 32-year long history because the landlords had found a tenant with more money. We jokingly hoped it wouldn't become yet another mixology bar, but the owners of Cat & Fiddle worry that at the rate that Hollywood is changing it could be even worse: a chain. Cat & Fiddle's Facebook had this message for their fans:

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT, AFTER 32 YEARS, THE CAT WILL BE CLOSING DECEMBER 15th, LOOKING FOR NEW LOCATION. The landlord is pushing us out for some chain with probably 0 personality. So sad to leave this special location we have loved and grown with all our neighbors, staff and friends. A special THANK YOU to our staff, who are on board and helping us with this transition - true family members we love dearly. We will get through this like we always do. HOLLYWOOD, we are worried for your fate, overdeveloped & overpriced. Out of town landlords who are worried about their pockets and not their souls. It's a sad place to be. Come and visit and let's send off this ship in style.

The group that owns the grounds Cat & Fiddle sits on is Branch Properties, based in Atlanta. (Editor's Note: Branch Properties does not own this property; the updated information is below.) Jesse Shannon, who works an LLC that owns the property, told the L.A. Times that Cat & Fiddle had been paying less than half the market value for a long time and that it was time for them to do something else with the space, but declined to say what exactly that was. Ashlee Gardner, the daughter of Cat & Fiddle founders Kim and Paula Gardner, said that they'd offered to make renovations and negotiate with Branch Properties, but were repeatedly ignored. Gardner also said that she and her mother (Kim Gardner, her father, has passed away) are looking for a new spot, but they can't say anything specific yet.

If Cat & Fiddle does find a new spot, it wouldn't be the first time they've moved. When they opened in 1982, it was on Laurel Canyon Blvd., but they soon outgrew that space and moved into their larger spot on Sunset.

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Update, 1:45 p.m.: Branch Properties does not own the property. That was incorrectly reported by the L.A. Times, Eater LA reports. Shannon, who is involved with the LLC that does own the property, has been getting lots of hate mail and doesn't think it's fair. He said that his group looked at the sales history of Cat & Fiddle and believes they could not pay a market rate rent, and that they had told the Gardners six months ago in order to give them time to relocate. He said it wasn't a decision his company enjoyed, but that they also have investors to satisfy. He said that while the name will be familiar, the new establishment will not be a chain. He told Eater, "We're going to pour several million dollars into this project, to take things back to the 1920s, the way it originally was. We're using photographs to really give back that feel." A name that's familiar sounds like a chain, and the 1920s sounds like a mixology speakeasy. The worst of both worlds.

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