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March 11, 2010

The building at 5930 York Boulevard is vacant once again. In a former life it was a tavern, then remade into 90042’s first contemporary cafe, “Highland Perk,” then the name was changed to La Casa Blue, then in came Juanita’s Restaurant, moving here from their former digs on Eagle Rock Blvd., located next to the Fresh & Easy.

Things seemed to be going well enough for Juanita’s last year, a restaurant that had been in business for 23 years was now a restaurant and a night club with a stage and patio area. The food was good, (the veggie tacos were exceptional) drinks were reasonably priced ($2-4 cheaper than Mr. T’s) a variety of art, dance, spoken word, DJs, open mic nights, live music shows, and favorable reviews on Yelp. But how to survive in The Great Recession?

The place had a beer and wine license, but not a spirit license. I guess when Villa Sombrero re-opened nearby serving cheap margaritas fortified with genuine Tequilla instead of wine or Soju (shutter to think about it) it was only a mater of time. The Feng shui always bothered me, but centrally located in the middle of Highland Park, it seemed like an obvious destination. (More of an issue may have been the owner of the two story building.)

As for now, the place where Yes Man was filmed sits empty and Juanita’s has moved on again like some food truck over to Chinatown and into another place with troubled tenant history at 686 N. Spring Street. (In the past 5 years it was a sports bar, then Vegan home cooking restaurant: Doomies, now Juanita’s)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2010 1:28 am

    Ha! I was just working on a post wondering about the Highland Jerk.

  2. March 11, 2010 11:55 am

    Very sad. It must have been a lot of pressure to keep that much square footage paid for. I went in once but it was a little to loud for my taste. On the other hand, although Villa Sombrero is quiet, I’ve never been a fan of the food.

  3. March 11, 2010 1:26 pm

    RIP Juanitas/Casa Blue. your huevos ahogados cured many sunday morning hangovers. you will be missed.

  4. Steffen permalink
    March 12, 2010 2:05 pm

    Hopefully something worthwhile finds a home there. Our visits to Jaunitas were always frustrating. The food was good, but the service was some of the worst I have encountered recently. It became harder and harder to justify going… so it’s sad, but not at all surprising.

  5. rman permalink
    March 16, 2010 5:19 pm

    The first two establishments at this location have two things in common, abysmal customer service. The location isn’t bad there business model was lacking which in turn affected there ability to keep the doors open and keep a satisfied and loyal customer base.

  6. Menziesii permalink
    July 23, 2010 2:27 am

    I have a question that someone, an old someone might be able to answer.

    I used to live on Aldama, just around the coner. The only building on this part of York is right on the corner, so to speak. If that is the case, then what we are talking about is the old George’s Shopping Center and a pharmacy/drug store—Grey Pharmacy, York Pharmacy?–anyway, a drug store.

    That is what was located in the building in the “50s and into the mid ’60s. My mom used to work at George’s. (George Tanis (sp?0went on to own the Hi Hat Club on York Blvd. near Ave.51.

    This site was several times a tavern and also a coffee shop, and a slot car race track.

    Maybe I am wrong about which building it is on York., as Mapquest shows it in the middle of the block. But, the only other reasonably large building was an accounting office and it was more of a singles story building. The pictures seem to show high ceilings. That would be the case with both the old grocery store and the drug store.

    OK, it is over 50-60 years ago,but the building was still there in January, 2010. My ex still lives in the area.

    Any help?




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