Update: It looks like Tito's has backed off their aggressively anti-CicLAvia stance. See below.
This weekend, CicLAvia is heading to the Westside for the second time. The popular event, which closes Los Angeles-area roadways to cars for a sort of mobile street festival of walking and cycling, will stretch six miles (shorter than previous routes) from Culver City to Venice, mostly along Washington Boulevard, Washington Place and Venice Boulevard.
But not everyone is looking forward to it. Lynne Davidson, the owner of Tito's Taco's on Washington Place, is threatening “to file a claim under the Government Code against the City of Culver City and CicLAvia.” It's not clear if that's a lawsuit or what, but suffice to say, she's not happy.
In an op-ed published on the Culver City news blog Front Page Online, Davidson writes:
I come here to express my utter outrage that the city and some nonprofit group called CicLAvia will close Tito’s Tacos on Sunday, Aug. 9, to our regular customers — many of whom come from as far as Santa Barbara, Riverside and San Diego counties.
Tito's is an essentially unremarkable taco stand, noted for its long lines, bizarrely loyal fanbase and surprisingly catchy television jingle that apparently runs on actual television:
It's basically the Pink's Hot Dogs of the Westside.
Or in the words of Davidson:
For those of you who are unfamiliar with our restaurant, Tito’s Tacos was selected by the nationally recognized media sources the Daily Meal and FoxNews.com for producing the Numero Uno Best Taco in all of Los Angeles County. TechTimes.com recently picked Tito’s Tacos as one of the “Twenty Places where you can get the Best Tacos in America.”
FoxNews.com: the ultimate arbiter of good Mexican food.
Davidson goes on to write:
I am here this evening to ask you to immediately cancel the CicLAvia event or, at a bare minimum, that the streets surrounding Tito’s Tacos are not closed to through traffic on Aug. 9, which traditionally is one the biggest days of the year for us.
Aug. 9. An important day for the taco industry.
Aaron Paley, the co-founder and executive director of CicLAvia, says that he's met with Davidson. He declined to say whether she threatened a lawsuit, but he did point out that customers will still be able to access the Tito's parking lot via Sepulveda Blvd., which won't be closed*. He also pointed out that the event could expose Tito's to tens of thousands of new and hungry potential customers, biking and walking past the taco stand.
He also stated: “We are not closing Tito's Tacos. If they make a decision to close, that’s their decision.”
We'll give the last word to the anonymous blogger known as the Militant Angeleno:
But seriously, Señora Davidson, you have no reason to fear CicLAvia this Sunday. Because we are coming. And you will get A LOT of business. And you can be rest assured that, unlike your car-oriented customers, we won't be crashing into your wall. [MIC DROP]
*Corrected from an earlier version
UPDATED at 1:45 p.m.: Tito's backs down and will now stay open on CicLAvia Sunday:
We will be OPEN on Sunday
August 9th from 10am to 10pm. Temporary bike racks will be provided by CicLAvia.
— Titos Tacos (@titostacos) August 7