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What Will Become of The Must? Only Time, and the Courts, Will Tell

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Photo by Sean_Yoda_Rouse via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by Sean_Yoda_Rouse via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
It only took a few hours for the "new owners" of what was The Must to clear out the furnishings and stock from the property this weekend, but it will take much, much longer for the fate of the Downtown wine bar to be decided. Those decisions are largely in the hands of the law, according to Blogdowntown, who have been following the saga closely.Yesterday morning, at their first opportunity, The Must's "management team filed an application for a temporary restraining order through the American Arbitration Association." Co-owner Rachel Thomas describes this period of uncertainty as "a waiting game," as leases are reviewed.

The space was leased to Thomas and business partner Coly Den Haan, through Weeneez, the neighboring hot dog eatery run by Julie Rico. Rico asserted Monday in the comments section of a Blogdowntown post that Den Haan and Thomas were served with a notice to vacate on July 1, however, Den Haan and Thomas say they did not receive such a notice. Typically such a notice would give the tenants 30 days to clear the premises; The Must was shut down and cleared out just 2 days later. More troubling: The Must's July rent check has been cashed by Weeneez, as were the May and June rent checks.

The public is continuing to express outrage over the situation, and are pledging support to The Must's owners and staff. Because the sudden shut-down means several people are out of work, the community is mobilizing to come to their aid:

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A fundraiser for bar employees affected by the sudden closure will be held on Saturday, July 10, at the Farmers & Merchants Bank (4th and [Main]*). Entry to the event, which will run from 7 to 11pm, is $20. All proceeds go to the employees' lost wages.

Though there's been rumblings about staging a picket line outside the restaurant during tomorrow's Art Walk, however the LAPD is discouraging such an action during an already-crowded time on Downtown's sidewalks.*edited to reflect correct location; error remains in source post.