The owner of Baciami Gelateria & Creperia has been cited for having tables and chairs while licensed as a take-out.
The take-out permit “means everything must be consumed off site… ” according to city Building and Safety Dept. inspector John Kelly.
He issued the $366 fine in early November after an inspection of the gelateria at 139½ N. Larchmont Blvd., which was prompted by an article he read in the L.A. Weekly.
Baciami owner Simon Malak removed the tables and chairs by a Nov. 21 deadline, but questioned why he was singled out on a street where an Italian eatery, chocolatier and coffee shops with only take-out permits have seating.
“I’m a small little place. I have a few chairs. I have the grandmothers and grandchildren eating ice cream. Where are they going to sit?” asked Malak.
He also took issue with the city inspector coming to his door because of a reference in an article.
In the Oct. 2012 article, Albert Mizrahi, who owns the Larchmont Bungalow, argued that owners of the nearby gelato shop were not asked to sign the same covenant he was.
Both the Bungalow and Baciami opened in 2010 but only Mizrahi signed the document promising he would not provide tables and chairs.
The city required the signed covenant for the Bungalow because of the large square footage for what was permitted for only a take-out, Kelly said.
In the L.A. Weekly article Mizrahi argued since Baciami was not required to make the same promise, there’s “no basis to give [me] this form to sign.”
After the Bungalow opened with sit-down dining, the city revoked its certificate of occupancy. The case has been in the courts ever since.
“The ink wasn’t even dry before the tables and chairs were placed inside” the Bungalow, Kelly said.
Upon his investigation last month Kelly found 16 chairs and eight tables at Baciami.
The owner had 15 days to comply by removing the tables and chairs or pay the fine by Nov. 22.
“I don’t know how it’s going to impact my business. But I’m going to comply,” said Malak, adding he didn’t have the funds to fight the city.