What's going on at Café Bolivar? The charming South American cafe on Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica reportedly experienced a change in ownership this week, leaving many employees unhappy and one of the cafe's former owners furious.
We're told that as of Wednesday, the cafe that was co-owned by Norine Sakai and Jose Caravajal, is now fully owned by Sakai. Though the cafe is still open and functioning, some employees are worried they'll no longer have a job and others are already looking for a new one. For his part, (former?) owner Carvajal claims Sakai is attempting to illegally take the business away from him. In an angry, 10-point missive he posted yesterday, Carvajal accuses Sakai of:
5. Norine Sakai has taken my half of the business Cafe Bolivar hostage.
6. Norine Sakai attempted to change the name to Bolivar.
9. Norine Sakai refuses to show legal paperwork sufficient to prove that as she claims she has dissolved our partnership at Cafe Bolivar (I have a document that says otherwise with her signature).
10. Norine Sakai is attempting to take half of my business Cafe Bolivar against my will.
This information is all very tentative. We have left a message for Sakai and have not been able to get in touch with Carvajal. We're looking into the backstory behind this dispute and will publish more info as it becomes available.