Pawnshop closing after 40 years, Café Parisien after eight months

| August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

BROTHERS Rudy (pictured) and Ernest Gintel are closing their family pawnshop.

After 40 years at Brothers Collateral Loans, Rudy and Ernest Gintel are closing up shop by the end of the year.

“There’s a beginning and an end to everything,” mused Rudy, 71.

Closing a pawnshop is not easy, as much of the inventory is private possessions that need to be transferred to trustworthy hands, Rudy told us.

The remaining items will be sold in going-out-of-business sales planned now through the end of the year.

Jewelry, art objects, tools and musical instruments are among items for sale.

BROTHERS COLLATERAL has been at the northwest corner of Melrose and Cahuenga for 40 years.

The brothers purchased the property and painted the building an eye-catching canary yellow at 5901 Melrose Ave. at Cahuenga Blvd.

While the shop draws customers from far and wide, it’s the land value that has skyrocketed. “The property has escalated much more than the business…

“We’ve had various offers. We haven’t accepted any of them yet,” Rudy told us, adding that four small houses up the street sold for $6 million a few years ago; 80 units were built on the four parcels. “There are dozens [like it] within a one-mile radius. It’s amazing.”

The Gintel brothers are a third generation of pawnshop brokers. Their parents and grandparents also had a pawnshop; mom Shirley was the local shop’s bookkeeper until a few years ago.

Her passing last year helped the brothers make the decision to close and sell the property, Rudy said.

“It’s a business that helps people. I enjoy that. Not everyone has a bank account that’s viable. Not everyone has a credit card. But they do have assets,” Gintel told us in an interview in 2018.

One lady brought in a valuable watch. She returned within the required four months and paid back the money, plus interest, and got her watch back.

It’s customers like that lady he feels responsible for with the impending sale, says Rudy. “I want to make sure whoever I sell [the inventory] to takes care of it, and I want to make sure [my customers] get it back.”

More closings

Reader Duke Underwood, a Larchmont Village resident, wrote to us about the vacancies and included photos. Indeed, there seem to be many more empty storefronts than usual.

Flywheel Sports Inc., 147 N. Larchmont, is set to close Aug. 29. In addition to Larchmont, the Playa Vista and West Hollywood studios stopped their spin classes. The boutique cycle studio based in New York reportedly shut 11 of its 42 locations, according to Bloomberg.  It opened on the boulevard in 2013.

Café Parisien, opened by Sebastien Cornic last December at 244 N. Larchmont Blvd., in the former Prado space, closed suddenly in mid-August.

Underwood said he was a regular at the café’s “happy hour,” but found the restaurant locked and dark Aug. 12 when he walked over for dinner. When contacted, Cornic’s emailed statement said, “Unfortunately this location did not work out for us. We will now focus on Meet in Paris Culver City and Brentwood. It was a pleasure serving the Larchmont community for the time it lasted.”

The closings of the fitness studio and the café accompany a handful of other closings or business moves along the boulevard.

After nine and a half years on Larchmont, BlueBird was scheduled to close its doors by the end of August. The children’s resale-and-consignment clothing store carried gently used brand name items at 652 N. Larchmont Blvd. It is located on the ground floor of a commercial building on the corner of Melrose Avenue.

The rent had tripled, said a manager at the site, after real estate investment and development company MCAP Partners recently bought the two-story building for $6.3 million.

According to MCAP Partners Executive Vice President Alexander Massachi, the company plans to keep the original two-story structure, built in 1925, now called Larchmont Place.

Goorin Bros. planned to close its doors at 141 N. Larchmont Blvd. Aug. 25, after eight years on the boulevard. Another Goorin Hat Shop is at 7627 Melrose Ave.

LF, at 120 N. Larchmont Blvd., is moving its women’s clothing inventory online, and the local spot should be closed soon.

Estée Lauder Companies’ brand MAC Cosmetics will close up its 216 N. Larchmont location not long after moving in more than two years ago.

And Library, a clothing store at 121 N. Larchmont, is in transition, but closed as we went to press. Stay tuned.

Chan Dara, the 30-year favorite Thai restaurant at 310 N. Larchmont, just north of Beverly, has been closed for several months, but is available for lease.

The approximately 4,000 square-foot “prime location adjacent to the Larchmont Village” (according to an ad for the property) is listed for $14,000 to $14,900 triple net rent per month.

Also for lease is the former Heavenly Couture spot at 133 N. Larchmont Blvd.


Popular Larchmont Village restaurant, Le Petit Greek, 129 N. Larchmont, is downsizing — back to its original size from years ago — we learned from a detailed Letter to the Editor that accompanies this story.

The restaurant’s landlord plans to remodel the northern half so it again will be another storefront for retail.

Rest assured, Greek food and wine will continue to be served at the original location for years to come, says co-owner Nora Houndalas.

Similarly, there is a “For Lease” sign in the window of the former Bonne Chance at 146 N. Larchmont, next to Lipson Plumbing. This is part of the former Lipson Building purchased in 2018 for $23.5 million by Christina Development, which has major remodeling plans for implementation after the current leases run out.

Also, the former bank and real estate office building, just north of Vernetti at 227 N. Larchmont, remains vacant, as it has been for 10 years.

Closing and opening

Stylish, comfortable and sustainable Rothy’s shoes are coming to our Village, in the former Mr. Holmes Bakehouse space (which followed the longtime Village Footwear in that space at 248 N. Larchmont).

“Larchmont will be part of a larger retail expansion,” Rothy’s spokesperson Anna Dore tells us via email from the company’s San Francisco headquarters.

Five Rothy’s stores are set to open this fall: New York, Boston, Georgetown and two in Los Angeles, including Larchmont and one on Melrose Ave. Started online in 2016, it has had one location on Fillmore St. in San Francisco.

Styles include a pointed and sneaker-style ballet flat and are made of recycled water bottles and other reused materials. And, they’re machine washable!

Also, to be welcomed to the greater neighborhood is Dr. Sebastian Kverneland. The native Norwegian got his doctorate degree from USC in 2014. A firm believer in a comprehensive and personal approach, he works with other healthcare professions in his chiropractic practice. He is located upstairs at Ultra Body Fitness, 828 B N. La Brea Ave.

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