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Hudson Owner Apologizes for Block Party

At a neighborhood meeting on Thursday, the owner of the Hudson restaurant apologizes to residents for the disruption the 12-hour Hudson Block Party held on Sunday had on the area. Mayor Jeff Prang also apologizes for city not doing better job with party.

Residents living in the Laurel-Norton neighborhood received apologies Thursday night for .

City officials and Hudson restaurant owners were on hand at a neighborhood meeting to discuss the impacts the large, 12-hour outdoor party had on people living nearby.

“I apologize for the disturbance,” Hudson co-owner Michael Jay told the 30 people gathered for the meeting. “I didn’t realize the impact on the neighborhood.”

West Hollywood Mayor Jeff Prang also issued an apology.

“This event had more impacts than we expected,” Prang said. “If anybody’s to blame, it’s the city. There are things we could have done that were better . . . from the city’s perspective, I apologize.”

The , held on the northeast corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Heights Boulevard in front of the Hudson restaurant and in the adjacent Bank of America parking lot, attracted an estimated 6,500 people owners said. A dozen bands performed between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. 

At the meeting, residents expressed their anger about the noise from the bands, the traffic and parking problems the event created and the attendees urinating in their yards.

Many were also upset about it being billed as a “block party” when it attracted people from far beyond the neighborhood.

“A block party is when you crack open a watermelon,” said one resident. “This was a music festival.”

Lack of notification

The issue residents seemed most angry about was the lack of notification about the party. 

Jay said he sent out mailings to residents in a 500-foot radius, as the city required. However, few residents received that mailing. Those who did, said it arrived on Thursday, May 17 before the party on May 20, not enough time to respond, especially with City Hall closed that Friday.

Daniel Mick, who lives in the area and works as a city Code Compliance officer, said, “If I didn’t work for the city, I wouldn’t have known this was going on.”

Prang said that if the Hudson is allowed to hold another party in the future, a mailing of 1,500 feet would likely be more appropriate and that the city will handle it, then bill the Hudson.

Jay said he got very little feedback after the Based on the success of that 10-hour party which attracted an estimated 4,000 people, Jay said he tried to do a bigger and better event.

Residents said the first party had less impact since it was smaller and didn’t last as long.

Although the Hudson paid for a dozen sheriff’s deputies to be on hand, residents wanted to know why there weren’t more deputies patrolling the neighborhood. A deputy responded that Sunday was a busy day for them with the , the and the .

As the meeting began to wind down, several complimented Jay and the other Hudson representatives for being brave enough to attend.

Jay said he wanted to work with the neighborhood and volunteered his restaurant for neighborhood meetings.

Attendees also thanked Prang and other city representatives for attending the meeting.

“We are hearing all these message loud and clear,” Prang. “I want to reassure all of you, I know who I work for and that’s each of you. My job is on the line every four years. I take that very seriously.”

 

Brian Hamilton May 25, 2012 at 05:20 PM
I live two blocks north of this location. I didn't read or hear a word about it until early Sunday evening when a neighbor said, "are you going to the block party?" I had other plans, so I didn't witness the mishegoss.
Jerome Cleary May 25, 2012 at 05:35 PM
How could the owner of The Hudson not realize the impact 4000 people were going to have on this neighborhood for a 12 hour party?
me May 25, 2012 at 06:55 PM
The neighborhood really turned out to let the city and the Hudson know their horrific experiences with the event. I appreciate the Hudson owners, Michael & Beau and the city/chamber officials for showing up to “face the (loud) music” including: Mayor Jeffrey Prang and his Deputy Michael Haibach, Genevieve Morrill of the Chamber, Michelle Rex (Deputy to Councilman John D’Amico), Daniel Mick (Code Compliance Officer) and Laura Manukian (Neighborhood Services Coordinator), who clearly had the worst job of all, as she had to keep everyone in line. That said, where were the other Council Members and or their staff??? I guess this issue wasn’t important enough for Heilman, Land or Duran’s office. The meeting was a bit of a pressure cooker for a time and I was encouraged to hear that a real neighborhood group will be in the works and the Hudson and the Chamber will work to form a Center City BID (Business Improvement District). It was nice to hear an apology from the city and the Hudson owners; I wasn’t sure we’d get one. What we heard was very encouraging but I will certainly be cautiously optimistic about how things are handled in the future. All of this wouldn’t have been necessary had an event of this scale not been held in an area that was just not appropriate in the first place. I hope the city will realize that it’s better to do more up-front work, rather than deal with the angry aftermath in the future. (continued below)
me May 25, 2012 at 06:56 PM
The Hudson is hosting an organizational meeting on Saturday, June 2nd at 10:30am to discuss better communication with the neighborhood as well as developing plans to deal with issues facing the business and residential community. Note to the 2 new businesses moving in (Laurel Hardware and The Box): ATTEND THIS MEETING!!! The #1 issue facing this business community is the lack of PARKING. They distributed a map of Santa Monica Blvd which detailed the smallest of parking locations from Kings Road (the only parking structure) to Stanley Avenue, a total stretch of 15 blocks. This simply wasn’t adequate for up to 4,000 cars and “nobody walks in LA” as the song goes, they just don’t. Instead, they drove round and round in our neighborhood looking for a coveted spot on the streets, making it even more difficult for residents to park. (continued below)
me May 25, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Our neighborhood has 5 bars from Fairfax to Crescents Heights, which will soon be 6 when Laurel Hardware Restaurant and Bar opens (without ANY off-street parking mind you) and there’s exactly ONE parking lot open for this whole stretch and that’s the B of A lot, which the Hudson operates. Club Voyeur, which will transform to a burlesque club The Box by end of summer http://la.eater.com/archives/2012/05/23/burlesque_club_the_box_replaces_voyeur_late_summer.php is sure to bring it’s own parking nightmares, paparazzi, speeding cars through our neighborhood and late night drunken hysteria as Voyeur did while they were open. The city NEEDS to address this issue!!! We are THE only area of West Hollywood without a parking structure, either public or private and it’s a major problem. Our needs in the Center City area have ALWAYS taken a back seat to the needs of those living further West….it’s the simple truth folks. I’m not sure how to take Daniel Mick’s comment (who lives in the area and works as a city Code Compliance officer) “If I didn’t work for the city, I wouldn’t have known this was going on” which seemed to be the wrong thing to say to a group of people who were there to complain about being all too aware of the event for 20 hours. (continued)
me May 25, 2012 at 06:58 PM
In my mind, I can’t imagine ANY scenario where this event would come back again next year to our neighborhood, unless they scale it way back to what it was last year, but I will be open-minded. The event has a lot of appeal obviously and it will only grow and grow, but it should do that in a more appropriate venue.
Jerome Cleary May 25, 2012 at 07:03 PM
move it to Melrose Avenue and block off Melrose on a Sunday from La Cienega to San Vicente Blvd. in the future
me May 25, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Besides the 3 large community events (Pride, Halloween, Sunset Strip Music Fest), this is the ONLY event that's had approval to be run by a private, for-profit business and which hasn't been held in an EVENTS VENUE....even the "share our strength" event for 2,000 attendees will be held within the walls of "the lot" (old warner bros studio at santa monica/formosa) on June 10th....AND they have a parking structure on site and the massive Target lot across the street.....i encourage folks to check the events calendar on the city's website to see what's been approved where YOU live: http://weho.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=4473 this seems like it may all that we have until west hollywood figures out a better way of communicating with its voters (yes, i meant to say voters :-)
me May 25, 2012 at 08:50 PM
HERE'S ONE THE NEIGHBORS ARE SURE TO LOVE RIGHT BEFORE ELEVEN GOES OUT OF BUSINESS: ELEVEN 8811 Santa Monica Blvd. 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm 350 People Charity Faux Back Lot Pool Party Benefitting AHF Event Details: Outdoor In Back Parking Lot, Portable Pool & Waterslide, Lifeguard, Outdoor DJ Truck, Palm Trees, Turf, Lounge Chairs, Food & Alcohol, Cookout, Private Security, Fencing, Open to the Public Over 21 w/ Paid Admission. FSO Hired For Event *Client has been notified that all outside music must be monitored and the level must be reduced if calls are received due to noise level.
toby May 25, 2012 at 09:49 PM
the Eleven event is a fundraiser for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Sounds like a good cause to me.
toby May 25, 2012 at 09:50 PM
the Eleven event is a fundraiser for Aids Healthcare Foundation. Sounds like a good cause to me
me May 26, 2012 at 02:07 AM
i hear ya toby and AHF does good work...the hudson block party also had a charity aspect....i'm simply pointing out that the AHF event neighbors may or may not know about the 8 hour event and the amplified sound it'll bring....aw, but maybe they're already used to it with all of the bars :-)
Cathy May 26, 2012 at 10:35 PM
There were several suggestions made at the meeting, that if implemented will alleviate some of the problems. For example: OUTREACH: whether the city or the Hudson, does the outreach, notices should be handled the same way as filming in a neighborhood is handled, notices are taped to the front door of residents living within 500 feet of the location. We suggested that the area be increased from 500 feet to 1500 feet. PARKING: No parking in the area. People would have to park at a parking structure, like the library and PDC lots and be shuttled over to the event. Side streets would be blocked off to RESIDENTS only. In any event, what is a must is that the neighbors unite, keep voicing their concerns and whatever happens, do not allow complacency to set it.
me May 27, 2012 at 02:22 AM
hey kathy... i totally agree!....only one comment: for any event, there really needs to be outreach to the Center City Alliance and the other 2-3 community/neighborhood watch groups south and west of SMB/Crescent Hts BEFORE the city even approves special event permits because a 7-10 day notice to all residents within a 1,500' range is really too late to respond to logistical problems....know what i mean?....
Karl May 27, 2012 at 07:35 PM
If you want to contest the Extended Alcohol License (till 2am!) at Hudson call Stacy Williams at the Department of Alcoholic and Beverage control 213 833 6099. Call this weekend and leave a message for Stacey as the deadline is listed the 29th May (how convenient). Partition is by 1114 Group LLC (Hudson).
Karl May 27, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Woops I meant petition :) Call Now!!!
Karl May 27, 2012 at 07:39 PM
I agree. To say sorry after the fact is lame. They don't care as long as they make $.
Karl May 27, 2012 at 07:41 PM
The only language these understand is $$$ and you got to hit them in the back pocket to make em notice.
Jerome Cleary May 27, 2012 at 07:43 PM
what's the day and the date of the Eleven fundraiser?
me May 27, 2012 at 09:06 PM
SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2012 ELEVEN 8811 Santa Monica Blvd. 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm 350 People Charity Faux Back Lot Pool Party Benefitting AHF Event Details: Outdoor In Back Parking Lot, Portable Pool & Waterslide, Lifeguard, Outdoor DJ Truck, Palm Trees, Turf, Lounge Chairs, Food & Alcohol, Cookout, Private Security, Fencing, Open to the Public Over 21 w/ Paid Admission. FSO Hired For Event *Client has been notified that all outside music must be monitored and the level must be reduced if calls are received due to noise level.
happy daisy May 27, 2012 at 09:19 PM
I could not attend the meeting but I wanted everyone to know that a dear friend passed away leaving the Hudson block party. Besides the noise there was obviously a lot of over serving of alcohol. Luke crashed his bike at Beverly and rossmore. He should not have been drinking and driving but the Hudson should be aware that most of their guests were doing the same. Serving alcohol from 11am to 11pm, Im surprised there were not a ton of accidents and dui's. Luke was in his late 20's and will be dearly missed.
me May 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Sorry to hear this....please provide Luke's last name so we can report on this further....thank you.
me May 28, 2012 at 01:48 AM
it seems the hudson wasn't honest with us during the neighborhood meeting regarding the liquor permit changes.....the neighborhood is working to defeat this.....I understand "someone" (use your imagination here) is going around and pulling down our flyers and protest materials.....here's stacy's email: stacy.williams@abc.ca.gov .......although the letter says to respond in writing, an email couldn't hurt either and a phone call too.....SPREAD THE WORD ON MONDAY!!!! (as Tuesday is the deadline)
happy daisy May 28, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Luke's full name was Luke Akao.
Me May 28, 2012 at 03:12 AM
I was a friend of Luke's as well. And although the choice was his to drink and drive, The Hudson has a responsibility to cut off people who had too much too drink. The law states that the entire bar and serving staff is responsible for protecting the patrons against themselves. If there is a fatality, under the law, the establishment can be held responsible as well. Every staff member at a bar or restaurant must go to L.E.A.D training in which they learn by ABC and Vice about not over serving amongst other things. ABC should have been inspecting the block party. The Hudson needs to train there staff better. This is another event where small profitability is more important than human life. The Hudson sold liquor with blatant disregard. They sold to anyone who was willing to spend a dollar. The Hudson is not only to blame. The city is to blame as well. Most of the officers there were too busy socializing with the block party goers rather than watching out for lewd conduct and extreme intoxication. Most of the attendees drove to this block party. Most of the attendees drank all day and then drove away... why weren't more people stopped for drinking and driving. It is true that the above complaints are intolerable but our community is lucky we did not experience more death and tragedy on this sunday. Luke rest in peace. You were an amazing guy who made a bad decision. It could have happened to any of us. We love you and will miss you.
me May 28, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Dear Happy Daisy and the other "Me".... We are so sorry for your loss. Can you point us to any article or other information regarding this accident? Anything at all?...The ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Commission) is deciding on Tuesday whether or not The Hudson should be granted fewer "conditions" for serving alcohol and we'd like to get as many details as possible to present to the ABC.
me May 28, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Dear Happy Daisy and the other "Me".... We are so sorry for your loss. Can you point us to any article or other information regarding this accident? Anything at all?...The ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Commission) is deciding on Tuesday whether or not The Hudson should be granted fewer "conditions" for serving alcohol and we'd like to get as many details as possible to present to the ABC.
eyes open May 29, 2012 at 05:44 PM
One idea that I haven't read or heard about is approaching Bank of America. They needed to give permission to use the bank's parking lot for the Hudson event. Perhaps the bank needs to be made aware of the problems and perhaps they will not give permission to use the lot in the future.
getitright June 01, 2012 at 12:03 AM
On behalf of Luke of Akao's family, I would like to request that you all stop assuming that Luke's death was a result of drinking and driving. Luke did attend the Hudson block party and had a few beers earlier during the day, however many hours had passed and he had two meals before even getting near his motorcycle. His friends that were with him attest that he was not drunk at the time of the accident and he was actually the one worried about other drivers that may have been under the influence. In addition, the coroner's office made no mention of alcohol in his system when we spoke to them. I understand why, as neighbors, you would want to shut down this block party. And I understand that there were probably plenty of other people that may have been drinking and driving, but Luke was not one of them. We suffered a tremendous loss when Luke died. He was an exceptional person that was intelligent, thoughtful, considerate, and very loving. He was a very important part of our family, but he was everyone's big brother. Though he liked to have fun, he was very cautious about not riding his motorcycle under the influence. Don't use our brother's death to further your personal agenda to shut down this party. Our family is in enough pain, we don't need you slandering Luke's reputation so that he is remembered as the "drunk driver that died leaving the Hudson block party". Please have some respect for us as we mourn the loss of our brother.
getitright June 01, 2012 at 12:21 AM
I am Luke's sister. He just turned 30 and was a graduate of UCLA. His death was not a result of drinking and driving. It was a result of riding a motorcycle and not having protection other than his helmet. Shut down this block party if you wish, but do not use Luke's accident to further your personal agenda to do so. Respect our family's wishes as we mourn the death of our brother.

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