Local News

Downtown art and furniture store gets reprieve

Mexican art and furniture store Blanquel Popular Art, at risk in September of being replaced by an alcohol enterprise, has been reprieved. The property owner’s application for a conditional use permit (CUP) was continued to an indefinite time by the Planning Commission on November 17 after the owner’s second request for a continuance. Semilla, a family-owned plant shop opened in March 2021, would also be replaced by the proposed bar.

Blanquel Popular Art owner Florencio Blanquel outside his store.

A number of citizens attended the meeeting to speak on the topic, only to find another continuance. The first hearing had been September 15 when associate planner Christine Hernandez and planning manager Heather Allen had recommended approval of the CUP for a new restaurant with a license to sell beer, wine, and distilled spirits, along with entertainment.

The commissioners refused Allen’s request to continue the hearing to February 16, 2022. They voted unanimously to continue to a date uncertain. “They will have to start over,” Chair Elizabeth Hansburg said.  She also questioned what advance notice of the continuance was given to the public. Notice had been posted online under “Staff Report” for that agenda item.

The property at issue at 109 South Harbor Boulevard is owned by “109 SOCO LLC,” a limited liability corporation with principal offices in West Covina.  The mailing address is in Encino, which is the address of LeWinter Law Group.  Anthony A. LeWinter is the organizer of the corporation, according to California Secretary of State records.  The chief executive officer, according to those records, is Carlo G. Terranova.  The type of business is described as “Real Estate Investment.”

LeWinter and Terranova did not respond to telephonic requests for comment regarding future plans for 109 SOCO.

7 replies »

  1. Supporting more bars and pushing out small independent businesses is the opposite of what I would like to see in our city. The bars actually cost the city $1.6 million over what they bring in per year to pay for increased police and cleanup. Does not make good sense to push out more retailers and services. Similar thing happening at Sunrise Village on Euclid and Rosecrans where many small thriving longtime businesses are proposed to be demolished in favor of building The Pines, a 164-unit unaffordable housing development.

  2. Please, no more bars. Many of my neighbors will not eat meals in Fullerton because most restaurants turn into bars at 8pm. Brea, LaHabra and Yorba Linda are providing the dining experiences that mature adults want. It seems that Fullerton has become the destination for Pub Crawlers and young people who think Bar Food is fine dining! Look at the demographics of Fullerton and provide what Adults and families would frequent.

  3. David Zenger, no one cares anymore. Check out my comments about Whitaker meeting at the cvs shopping center. No more bars. Please.

  4. So why did Heather Allen go to bat for such a bad proposal? Does anybody even care, anymore?

    • Alcohol Beverage Control admits to “overcrowding” of alcohol licenses in Censud Trqct 0113 which means, technically, no more licenses. However, this rule is overcome by the city’s endorsement of an applicant’s license as “necessary or convenient.” Heather is the source of those approval, I think. I have actually seed just one letter from her to ABC–when there was a hearing on neighborhood objections to a license. in 1995 Paul Dudley arranged that all notices of applications would be sent to his department, not to the planning commission nor to the city council.

  5. Thank you Judith Kaluzny and Observer for this great news. Happy to hear Mr Blanquel and his unique shop will stay. Hope that the proposal for another drinking establishment will not come back. BYW for anyone who hasn’t visited the shop – it is a great place for holiday gifts!