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surfas

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  • mmm Jun 21, 2005 05:11 PM
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has anyone tried the granola at surfas. it's sooo good.

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  1. I have shocking news...if true...got this from a friend today...Surfas will be closing Nov. 1. After this amazing remodel, opening the cafe...

    here is what she said..have not personally confirmed. What a shame. Can anybody confirm?

    Was at Surfas yesterday. Did you know that Culver City has declared the property "eminent domain" and they have to be out by Nov. 1? This just happened at a City Council meeting Aug. 8. Apparently these decisions are rarely overturned in an appeals process. What a shame and loss.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jesdamala

      https://www.surfasonline.com/news/65.cfm

      1. re: Jesdamala

        This is truly horrible news...

        http://saveoursurfas.blogspot.com/

        1. re: Jesdamala

          This is absolutely not true. The City Council ruling involved property that Surfas owns across the street. The City is working on a project across the street for when the light rail comes. This has nothing to do with the cafe.

          1. re: culvercity

            You're right, it's not exactly true. But, the city does want to buy Les Surfas' warehouse, and he would rather close than give up the warehouse.

            While there may be some melodrama on Les' part, I'm hoping that Culver City will see that they'll need some serious P.R. damage control if they pursue this...

            http://saveoursurfas.blogspot.com/

        2. Well, I see no particular deadline at the link, and some hints that perhaps things could be worked out. (Also, the city is just condemning the warehouse, not the building with the store and cafe -- the city no doubt feels Surfas could survive with the warehouse somewhere else, but Les Surfas disagrees. Not exactly sure why, other than anger, but . . . .)

          Nonetheless, not good news.

          1. This directly from the owners: Surfas is NOT closing, it will eventually lose the lease on the warehouse, and because the store cannot function without the close proximity of the warehouse that packages and stocks thousands of items, it will be forced to move from its current location in Culver City. More information will be coming in November, but most likely the move won't be for a few years. They plan to stay until they are evicted or find a better location. If you read the latest article on the www.surfasonline.com Website, you'll see that the city has no plans for the site, they just want it back...rumor has it so that they can build either higher-rent-per-square-foot condos or a big-box store like Target.

            The current plan is to keep Surfas on the Westside, but most definitely leave Culver City after being treated so shabbily.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Kishari

              Just from what I could gather from the linked articles, the city is being quiet on the proposed uses, but the unspoken plan/hope seems to be for a transportation center, probably involving light rail. (There are tracks there already.) There are lots of reasons why the city might be keeping quiet about plans, though one of them is certainly the one Surfas seems to subscribe to: they don't know what they are doing.) P.S.: just a plan to turn it over to Target or the like probably wouldn't survive a court challenge to the eminent domain takeover, unless it is part of a long-standing much broader development plan.

              It also sounds like the city would be willing to help Surfas find a nearby new warehouse location. That whole area has developed nicely in recent years, but there are still warehouses around. I'll bet with a decent deal, the woners could figure out how to do with a warehouse within a mile instead of next door.

              1. re: jenn

                I am sure the name Target was just an example of what could be built, but you are right, the former Fedco at Jefferson as well as the Target on Jefferson just east of Sepulveda more than cover the city.

                1. re: Kishari

                  The plans the City has across the street will compliment Surfas with the train coming to town. Retail and restuarants and housing will be on the site. Not a big box retailer. The City is working with Surfas to keep him in town by helping find him a replacement site.

                  1. re: culvercity

                    I don't doubt that the plans might complement the Cafe/Store well, but it doesn't seem that the owner feels that way (whether it is just to try to get the best deal from Culver City, out of principle -- the principle being, its mine, its outrageous you would take it, or whther he truly thinks the warehouse has to be next to the store for the business to work.

                    He has a new posting saying no closure/move is imminent -- a year or more away.

                2. It is confusing information..is it the store/cafe location or the warehouse..I do not know. I cannot imagine a Target or condos at the location of the store/cafe, unless they also have (the city) eyes on the storage place and other establishments along Venice.(not exactly sure just what CC is going after)..as there would not be appropriate parking. However, whatever, I hope Surfas will survive. It is all cooking type stores on steroids in one and is truly unique and it will be a huge loss. I think Surfas adds greatly in its current form and character to what Culver City wants to be and attract. I have lived in the area all my life, my mother born in CC. Surfas is known coast to coast.

                  1. Sorry for the confusion, the entire store/cafe will be forced to move because they can't function without the very large warehouse, which is across the street from the store.

                    1. As we were driving into the parking lot, our guest, husband of a Nashville restaurateur, was on his cell phone with his wife's partner. "We're pullin' into Surfas, man...you want anything?" Cory's voice came scratching out past Smitty's earlobes: we all could hear it. "Holy s***, man! SURFAS? In CULVER F***** CITY?? You better get somethin' to WRITE with, baby! Now listen here..."

                      I don't even have a restaurant, and I feel the same way. I go there maybe twice a year at best, but I'd almost give up Trader Joe's first. Okay, ALMOST...

                      1. Here's a two-part interview with the Surfas owner, Les.

                        Part 1: http://thefrontpageonline.com/index.p...

                        Part 2: http://thefrontpageonline.com/index.p...

                        I say ... good riddance.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          why, exactly?

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            yes, I'm curious as to why good riddance?

                            I confess that my visits have dropped off in recent years--I haven't even made it to the new location. I used to go every Saturday or so and loved poking around and trying new stuff. During the time I went the most, there was a woman named Lynn who worked mostly up front. I think she was also a buyer. She was always very helpful and very informed. Then she left and the newer staff wasn't as helpful and definitely lacked a clue and my visits sort of faded [and besides, one can only fit so much cooking gear in a one bedroom apartment].

                            But if they were to go, that would be sad. Eminent domain for public good [transportation center for example] can be understood but for pure profit [condos, Target] is just wrong. And its always sad to lose an institution.

                          2. http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...
                            :(

                            1. SO sad that Prop 90 failed.

                              The construction of the light rail is going full steam ahead- they have been tearing out old underground gas pipes for two weeks on National, outside my office window.

                              What's interesting is that on the light rail's website they are hawking the "destinations" that will be served by a station at Wash and Nat'l. Helms Bakery is mentioned, Hayden Tract and the Conjunctive Points (same thing) are mentioned, Culver Studios (which has no tour and no public access- passersby are just able to view the house that was once Scarlett's Tara), and THE MUSEUM OF FRIGGIN JURASSIC TECHNOLOGY is mentioned. Jeez- is that place even ever open????

                              http://buildexpo.org/destinations.htm

                              Such a shame- I am certain that folks would use the light rail to get to Surfas specifically- heck that's the only reason I ever came to Culver City before I started working here.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: julietg

                                Thanks for posting up that link... it just made me so happy... :)

                                --Dommy!

                              2. I suppose these comments may get excised, and I wouldn't mind if they did. But as long as the above stays, my 2 cents: I'm certain that Surfas will continue to exist, probably in Culver City but if not, elsewhere. We'll still be able to get the wonderful food and supplies, and now without the electioneering. Prop 90 would have been an absolute horrible nightmare if enacted; anyone who cares a lick about environmental regulation should be dancing in the streets.

                                Also The Museum of Jurassic Technology is a wonderful place, and has a minimal tea on Wed., Sat. and Sun afternoons, and Thurs. evenings. It also holds occasional wine nights. None of this is worth the trip for solely the tea or wine, but the tea or wine in combo with the exhibitions are great.