After their landlord kicked them out last month, Bar 107 announced it would be closing for good at the end of May. This week's last hurrah brought a packed house, drunken debauchery and, it appears, a rebellious change of heart.
Yesterday, owners Brian Traynam and Vee Delgadillo decided that they aren't going out without a fight. As the owners looked on at midnight last night, DJ Morgan Higby Night read from a prepared statement, announcing that Bar 107 will "remain open and continue to pay rent" until they are physically removed.
"If the landlord doesn't want to give us a new lease, he can take us to court," the statement said. "Under California Law, it is illegal for him to enter this property while we are occupying it."
The statement, which Night posted in its entirety on his Facebook page early Monday morning, also lamented the changes in Downtown L.A. since the bar first opened. "Like many cities before it, expensive lofts and condos have replaced affordable apartments. With it came blazers instead of T-shirts and mixologists instead of bartenders."
"Bars with personality and reasonable drink prices have been replaced by sterile, safe shitholes with ridiculous prices and even more ridiculous ice cubes," Night read from behind the DJ booth as the raucous crowd cheered. "The owner of this building has decided to follow suit. Open yet another shitty, expensive bar for the new yuppies that have moved into downtown L.A. We are not going to let that happen."
With oddball events such as Gong Show Karaoke and Helmet Night, freaky dance parties such as Ghettoblaster and the eclectic noise of Night's "Devil's Night" weekend shift, Bar 107, has always had a punk-rock vibe, something that seemed to become more pronounced as the area surrounding it changed. The place has long touted itself as "a place to feed your addictions and bad decisions," but it remains to be seen if this decision will be a bad or good one.
Night held up a piece of paper with the words #OCCUPYBAR107," after he read the statement. Friends and fans of the bar, hoping to make 107's plight a local movement have already begun sharing it all over Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
Read about the history of Bar 107 in our original post about the closure here.
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Read the full statement Night posted on his Facebook page here.