Eva is the latest establishment to come under siege by the types of nosy neighbors that make running a restaurant all the more costly and Hellish for its owners. In an urgent plea for support, Alejandra Gold, the wife of chef-owner Mark Gold, details how the restaurant's variance (a request to tweak the rules on a city's zoning code) is being denied by the city, endangering Eva's liquor license after three years of serving as a celebrated dining destination. Though she does not specifically name the group that is pushing against a variance request that allows Eva's parking area to exist just 250-feet further from the restaurant than codes dictate, Alejandra makes it fairly clear the headaches are again being caused by the Beverly Wilshire Homeowners Association**, which has past besieged restaurants like Ratner's, BLD, and Dough Boys by having its members scour and crow about local zoning codes to stymie the opening of new restaurants and the granting of booze permits. "Most non-corporate restaurants just fold and go out of business -- at least three others have met this fate," Gold writes on the same day her husband starts an apprenticeship at NOMA. She then pleads for support in raising $12,000 in legal and municipal fees to keep the restaurant fighting for its right to serve guests after three years on the block. See Gold's full statement below.
we hope this letter finds you well. isn't life something.... eva restaurant just celebrated its three-year anniversary, was voted Prettiest Restaurant in LA Weekly's "Best of" series and our Sunday Dinner Party was featured in the LA Times.
then Chef Mark Gold was off to Copenhagen for a coveted apprenticeship at world-renowned NOMA restaurant... THEN we got the notice that after years of battling with the city planning department, a variance that our attorney described as a nominal issue was in fact denied. the variance involves relocating parking spaces for eva (we secured spaces 1,000 feet from the restaurant vs. the required 750 feet, thus the variance).
but the bigger issue involves decades of small businesses and restaurants fighting a local home association and neighborhood activist.
most non-corporate restaurants just fold and go out of business -- at least three others have met this fate. we considered closing our doors and stopping the drain of resources to legal and city fees. the activists shutting down restaurants have won settlements for more than $1 million for dropping opposition to a liquor license. but eva is not just a business for us. eva is our home, we live around the corner! and we know that eva is a second home to many in the neighborhood and LA at large.
you can read the article here for an idea of what eva and other small restaurants / businesses have been facing. we are just a small, family-owned restaurant that supports local farmers. mark works so hard to support his family and is just cooking his heart out every day. he is so excited to return from NOMA with new inspiration and dishes to share with all of you.
so how can you help us to keep eva open?
we have three days to come up with $12,000 for the final round of legal fees and an appeal to the city. if we don't file a another variance (meaning attorney's fees plus $7k for city fees) we will lose our liquor license, which would eventually put us out of business. any donation you can provide is the greatest help these next few days.
click here for the PayPal donation link. within the first hour of setting this up last night, more than 15 donations came in -- ranging from $10 to $200 and we are so grateful and humbled... your notes of advice and encouragement are especially touching.
please follow our Facebook page or @evarestaurant on Twitter for updates.
thank you so much. we are celebrating our 3 year anniversary with an amazing menu, wine pairings, craft cocktails and as always a warm staff to make you feel at home.
(and Mark in spirit as he starts his first day at NOMA today...)
**We've corrected this post as earlier we called it the Beverly Hills Homeowners Association. We hope you can forgive us, in time.