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Harvey's Broiler Razed Illegally!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Cyclone Kevin, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. 40 & 61 Fords
    Joined: May 17, 2006
    Posts: 2,000

    40 & 61 Fords
    Member

    I think this is how this will end up. Maybe someone from the Peterson museum will take note of this, and put the remains where it can be enjoyed by all, rather than some "bucks up" collector buying it for his personal garage, then putting it on Ebay to make a buck when he switches from collecting rods to whatever the latest craze is .
     
  2. T-Bone
    Joined: Mar 17, 2001
    Posts: 359

    T-Bone
    Member

    When does MY shit become YOUR history? If all these THOUSANDS that you speak of really cared, they should have bought it.

    No doubt this guy broke a bunch of laws and for that he should be punished...punished in similar manner to others who commit that same crime (unpermitted demolition), not punitive shit like folks are talking about here...jail time and whatnot. Its crazy..

    My understanding is that this building had NOT been deemed an historic landmark, only that it could have been. Its a crying shame to see it destroyed...it really is (was) a beautiful building with an obvious rich history, but obviously noone cared enough for it that they were willing to step up and buy the place. No, instead they tried to force the government to essentially take it from him or at least make it so he couldn't do what he pleased with it.

    You guys better stop chopping up those old cars...you're destroying our history!
     
  3. Johnny Bones
    Joined: Jul 1, 2005
    Posts: 76

    Johnny Bones
    Member

    While we're on it, lets make it legal for owners to burn their businesses down and collect on the insurance! If this place was deemed historical by the city or county then the owner is breaking the law. Bottom line. Right and wrong still stand here in Cali, and this was shady at best. This guy obviously knew what he was doing wasn't right. Now I dont want anyone telling me what I can and can't do. Just like the next guy, but when so many people come forward, enough to make this place considerable for landmark status, things change. Car culture is a good part of american history. This place was a piece of it. The owner shouldn't get away with this.
     
  4. axle
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 3,832

    axle
    Member
    from Drag City

     
  5. Scott B
    Joined: Dec 31, 2002
    Posts: 548

    Scott B
    Member

    You are obviously not familiar with the Chicago weather pattern know as "Greek Lightning"...

    The attack on the building was wrong. Yes, that is a fact.

    I will say, that a $15K monthly lease for the place doesn't shock me though. It is not that unusual for a thousand square foot space suitable for a restaurant, with only street parking, to go for $8K monthly here.

    It is a terrible loss, things should have happened differently.

    It would be great to restore it. It will take a hell of a lot more than an annual car show to make it what it was though. You gotta sell a pile of burgers and sodas, every day. You have to turn over tables. Fifty or a hundred guys showing up once or twice a month, sitting around for hours and spending twenty bucks will not keep any restaurant open for long...
     
  6. hatch
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 3,668

    hatch
    Member
    from house

     
  7. Sealed Power
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 627

    Sealed Power
    Member
    from TN

    So you don't want anybody telling you what do but as long as their telling somebody else your ok with that? Or as long as it's a bunch of people telling you what to do that's ok? :D

    You're right he shouldn't get away with it. He should pay the penalties for the laws that he broke. But that doesn't mean that the government or anyone else should be able to step in and lay claim to his property. It is his private property and if the "Friends of Johnie", you, me, or anybody else want to lay claim to it then we have to buy it.

    According to this story in the LA times it is not included in the state Register of Historic Places. The owner objected and owner approval is required for inclusion. That means some Joe Blow off the street can't just come along and turn your property into a historic site and take it from you, or tell you what you can or can't do with it. The owner has to agree to it and this owner did not.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-broiler9jan09,1,5905200.story

    Granted the way he went about it is shady at best but if the guy bought it in 1966 like the article said then he ain't no spring chicken (that means he's getting pretty damn old) Maybe he's afraid he won't live long enough to go about it legally. I'm not saying that makes it ok. He broke the law and should be punished.

    The place was cool as hell and I hate to see what has happened to it. I love old stuff and it would have been a must see stop for me.

    But instead of screwing around with the government and trying to get it declared a historic place, and forcing something on the owner that he obviously did not want, the "Friends of Johnie" should have been raising money and finding investors to buy the place. Then it would be theirs to do with as they please.
     
  8. axle
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 3,832

    axle
    Member
    from Drag City

     
  9. ray
    Joined: Jun 25, 2001
    Posts: 3,753

    ray
    Member

    soooo, what exhorborant price was the owner asking? what are similar properties selling for? you gonna blame US for not stepping up when the guy prices his property at twice the going rate?

    and to those who feel a property owner can do whatever the fuck he wants with his property, care to tell me where you live? my uncle farms pigs, and is looking for a property to erect a giant tank to store his pig shit, i'm sure you guys would have no problem if he built his shit tank next to your place. if you don't like it, just buy the property. real simple.
     
  10. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,891

    Squablow
    Member

    This is a good point. Sure, it would be possible to save the building, and maybe even restore it again, (with a tremendous amount of fundraising and work, or possibly through legal litigation), but once it's back up, then what? Are the people who want to save it going to be around to keep it in business for the next 50 years?

    I'd love to see it saved, at least what's left, but remember to be realistic. Perhaps the owner would be willing to donate the sign and the salvageable pieces of what's left of the building to the city or to a "friends of Johnies" type organization. (possibly in return for a reduced fine) Those people could arrange for the sign and whatever good pieces of the building are left to be re-assembled in some public park or whatnot (probably with a lot less under-awning parking and a smaller building using what can be saved of the original building). Then the city would own it and could lease it out to people who want to sell concessions and shit like that when the park hosts events.

    A situation like that would be nice because the historical aspects of it would be saved, it would be useful without being a huge burden on someone, and ownership would be turned over to the city who would take care of it.

    If you guys are really serious about saving it, don't push for a total, owner-funded restoration, because it's just not going to happen. Take a realistic approach and I'd bet you could really accomplish something that'd make everyone happy.

    If that were in Wisconsin, someone would buy salvage rights to the building and put it back up on a different lot, but apparently an acre parking lot in Cali is worth 2 million dollars, so that's probably not going to happen.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  11. junkmonger
    Joined: Feb 9, 2004
    Posts: 653

    junkmonger
    Member

    I agree. There's too little information to tell, but it sounds like this guy (who has owned it since 1966 when it WAS Johnies) couldn't make a go of the restaurant and that's why it became a used car lot.
     
  12. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 3,910

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    This isn't about snaking the property from the owner, but more of letting people,especially car people know that we are losing another icon of present existence. People are free to post their opinions here no matter how they may feel. Many here from what I have read feel a great loss.
    I happen to have experienced this place since practically birth as well as Bob's Toluca Lake. When it too was endanged, there were those who wanted it saved and a few who didn't. Bob's as I said in my intitial post makes BANK!! and so did Johnie'swhen he'd allow car clubs in there. Problem here was that there is a short sighted view to Christos.
    The owner of Bob's infused money to improve the place but not screw the place up. Many dollars were donated by many clubs such as the Road Kings of Burbank, Actually this owner has a charity of the month that he provides money to. So that is success proven.

    If one person who has never been here to experience what we enjoy in our Americana, how can another take them serious?

    I have been to Harvey's/Johnie's on many ocassions and have seen the capacity crowds that this place brought in. If properly restored,rebuilt or duplicated in an original footprint it too would make bank. There are currenty 47 Bob's Big Boys either being re-constructed or re-converted from Coco's-Carrows restaurants with in the next few years & All of So-Cal is sewed up. So if there wasn't any money in this why would Big Boy Restaurants LLC (who are based in MI.) have locked up all of So Cal? One company did! This was origially a CA. originated business.

    The property is currenty listed for lease as "Old Johnies Broiler"
    problem with that is, It is no longer usable for $14,475.00 mo.

    The property is not for sale & he knew the law re: Historical Landmark Status. The papers were presented to him.
    He never filled them out. It still was unanimously accepted by the register and still listed as such. This guy is no angel and if one had to deal with him,I'm sure that one would understand what is reallytranspiring here. This person spends a great deal of time out of the country and that's all I say about that.
    Just remember what the real reason is why we're here. Predominantly American cars,culture & tradition. This place is all 3 rolled into one.
    Just my take on the subject
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  13. beauishere
    Joined: Mar 17, 2004
    Posts: 607

    beauishere
    Member

    So if I don't buy it, it's not worth saving? Good thing everybody doesn't think like you or it would all be strip malls, Jack in the Box, and Olive Gardens.

    Oh...I guess it is. You and your ilk win.

    It's attitudes like yours that make it hard to save the surf spots too. "I own it! You can't use it!"

    And the forests. We have to own the mountains too before we can speak out against clear cutting?

    Because you can afford the Mona Lisa doesn't mean you have the right to destroy it.

    If you want a have say about where you live, get some stones and speak up. That's democracy.
     
  14. Old Roadster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 612

    Old Roadster
    Member

    Im with cyclone kevin, He is passoniate about this and is right about bob's bigboys chain. this guy is missing the boat on restorations, there is big money at reduced interest for projects like this, and in the end property value goes up.
     
  15. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,745

    kustombuilder
    Member
    from Novi, MI



    glad not everybody feels the way you do or all these old cars we ALL love so much would not be here today. and that recent trip you made to the junk yard, that you bragged about to all of us, would'nt have happened because there would'nt have been anything there to see. someone would have crushed it LONG ago and it would'nt be here for anyone to enjoy and "discover" today.
     
  16. hatch
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 3,668

    hatch
    Member
    from house

    I'm not the one who coined the phrase..."One mans trash is another mans treasure"......and the man that owns the junkyard we visited considers it treasure, and he, and only he, should have the option of "keeping or crushing"....not the govt or some tree hugger, or bleeding heart preservationist....If he crushes a chevy citation, someday he will be hated by the citation lovers association. His stuff....his choice.

    My point is this....if you idolize, lust after, or crave what another man owns, then buy it from him... or keep quiet.....which brings up another phrase I didn't coin..."Put up or shut up". Both of these timeless phrases have worked for many years, and seem to apply in many things in life.

    It is just stuff, and in the end it will all be gone.....that's how it goes.
     
  17. battersea boys
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 627

    battersea boys
    Member
    from surrey

    Hatch you obviously didn,t enjoy history at school and your enviromental outlook is commendable. BUT working joe's haven't got the multimillion dollar war chests you keep banging on about so they talk and try to muddle a solution ,why do you keep on having to be so negative . We all know our attempts will be futile and the place will go, but try and be supportive as its an old car guy type thing!!........
     
  18. T-Bone
    Joined: Mar 17, 2001
    Posts: 359

    T-Bone
    Member

    I'll ask again this question since everyone has conveniently been sidestepping it. At what point does my property become communal property? When enough people covet it, when a significant number of people have enjoyed it in the past and wish to continue enjoying it? What is the crossing point from personal ownership to collective ownership?

    My answer is there is no crossing point. What is mine is mine until I die and then it becomes the property of whoever inherits it. People keep tossing the terms American and democracy around, but the minute a group of thugs declare my stuff to be anything but my stuff it makes them unmitigated socialists.

    I know I have enjoyed Pete Chapouris' "California Kid" since I was a young teen. I even have a picture of it that Pete himself signed. I'm sure the same could be said of thousands of hotrodders in the last 30-odd years. I'll go so far as to call it a "Historically Significant" car. I doubt anyone could deny it's significance to our hobby. But it doesn't give you or me the right to tell its owner what he can and cannot do with it.
     
  19. hatch
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 3,668

    hatch
    Member
    from house

    T-bone....you're correct.....It's all about "What you CAN and CANNOT do with your personal property".......and when your property becomes community...or communal....or communist.

    I'm not being negative....I'd love to see all the cool old stuff saved.....but I don't own it, and honestly feel I have no right in whether it is crushed or saved. If YOU own it.....you decide.
     
  20. HeyMang
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 124

    HeyMang
    Member

    T-Bone- first, I agree with you. It IS socialist, but then again, so is welfare. Our country is full of it- as much as it sucks, get used to it. Its only going to get worse.

    You would be right to say its unfair to the owner/leasee to not be able to do with your property as you please. It IS unfair. Does that mean I should have the right to install a 100 ft. cell phone antenna in the backyard of my cookie-cutter house? Does it give me the right to tear down my house and build a liquor store in its place? Id personally like to build a combination liquor store/gun shop/porn shop and put it right next to a school. Think that will fly even thought its MY property?

    Ill be damned if the government is going to tell me what I can and can't do with my property. But ever hear of Imminent Domain? Good luck fighting that one.

    So lets say everyone else is wrong, who cares if its a place of historical interest, and he should be able to tear down his shit.
    That doesnt exclude him from the laws of the city and state. He asked to tear it down and they denied him NOT because Johnnies was a Googie-style architecture, but because he didnt do ANY of the pre-planning and surveying associated with new businesses, i.e. traffic impact reports, public safety and interest, asbestos removal, etc... He was denied and decided to get the gears in motion illegally. The GAS, water, and electricity was still connected when he took a bulldozer to it. He could have blown up the entire fucking block. Oh yeah, on a SUNDAY NIGHT. Pretty shifty.

    But other than that, sure. Let him do with it as he pleases. Its just one more icon my children will never see, but Ive made peace with that.
     
  21. hatch
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 3,668

    hatch
    Member
    from house


    I agree wholeheartedly.....prosecute him for the LAWS he broke....not the hearts.
     
  22. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,094

    NoSurf
    Member

    I guess I'll go put my pitchfork away now. Where's the used torch drop-off bin?

    So as owners of personal property, with the attitude of "It's mine. I will do what I want with it." how can you explain the owner of Harveys/Johnies lack of acknowledging or comprehanding that HIS property has historical "value" to the community?

    Or is it all "tough shit" black and white for you?
     
  23. Scott B
    Joined: Dec 31, 2002
    Posts: 548

    Scott B
    Member

    Cyclone Kevin, you are on the ball to bring up the Big Boy restaurants. That would be a sharp business model to reference and perhaps it could have been the solution to saving Harvey's before the damage.

    The Big Boy development is franchise based. So, it seems that just about anybody could have turned the Harvey's/Johnies into a Big Boy location (at some point in the past five years, pre-illegal demo).
    Here is a quick rundown of the investment anybody here could have made-
    $450,000 up front, with $750,000 equity guarantee, on your part.
    $40,000 for 40 year franchise rights.
    7% of your ticket sales, life of the location, royalties and marketing.
    That is straight from the folks at Big Boy.
    I'd guess that you could have negotiated down on the lease, since you'd be Mr BigBoy for the next 40 years. I wouldn't sign for more than ten years, but that's me.
    Then it's just remodelling and appliances. Priced out a commercial kitchen, lately? Food and beverage costs. Insurance. Staffing, which might get expensive since we are being romantic about this - in addition to being open all through the day. That means probably three/four shifts, if you count prep, what about 8 folks in back probably as many or more servers, per shift. We're going to be busy right?

    I don't want this to seem like an attack. Don't take it that way. I have opened/owned restaurants before - there is no romance to that business. They make you think very deeply about where every penny comes from and goes.
    I would absolutely love to be the romantic nostalgia diner guy, it is on my list of things to do. Honestly, I wouldn't try it though because I can't make the enterprise pencil out. Not just with this Harvey's/BigBoy example, but in any major California metro. My hat is off to the BigBoy franchise folks-if they are actually making money. I would bet it takes some long pockets before you take any money out of one...

    Ultimately, this story is of a failed business. People usually don't shut down the money makers, to open car lots. It really seems we all should have been better patrons to Johnie's. If we had taken the step then, we wouldn't be here now.
     
  24. Hell If we're going this route Why not contact the MELS drive-in,The guys outa the bay area? they also have one in LA so this could be a great fit for them also...................see I knew we could solve world problems on the hamb!:D ......I truly believe this will work out in the end and yeah thanks alot Cyclone Kevin
     
  25. praisethelowered
    Joined: Aug 14, 2003
    Posts: 1,103

    praisethelowered
    Member

    this idea that ANY recognition of the greater good over individual property rights equals communism is a false argument. For the most part it is brought to you by Exxon via Foxnews.. . and I get tired of hearing it from self-righteous blowhards that enjoy the benefits of these same common causes everyday. Public roads, schools, child labor laws, fishing rights, the military, the list is endless and all of it benefits you no matter how much you pretend to be a "self-made man".

    As a nation there are many things that we regulate because it is considered to be better for a larger number of people . . not just those who can afford to own individual pieces of America.

    It's not communism. . it's just giving a shit about other people. My definition of America includes both individual property rights and concern for my neighbors needs. It's not as simple as "every man for himself" but that's just a your selfish fantasy anyway. In the real world we are all in it together like it or not.

    The government is there to balance the rights of individuals against the rights of the public. The people who are fighting to save Harvey's are using the tools available to them to shape the community that they live in.
     
    NoSurf and kidcampbell71 like this.
  26. Hey Kevin, I guess some of these guys won't be supporting our efforts.

    Some of 'em even think we're talking about THEIR property to see some of these posts. I'll be happy to clarify. Hatch and T-Bone, we're discussing a diner out here in California. Please feel free to wreck your local history if you like. As far as i can see you are just arguing for the sake of arguing. Too much talk radio, would be my guess.

    Rest assured, my HAMB buddies, there will be some action on this. It'll involve driving and showing our cars. Probably there'll be live music. The civic involvement will be good for the image of hot rodders and custom enthusiasts. But most importantly, it'll be fun. I'm excited about the ideas we have already.

    As we treehugging California folks say: Keep the faith.
     
    NoSurf likes this.
  27. Bumpstick
    Joined: Sep 10, 2002
    Posts: 1,372

    Bumpstick
    Member

    This is the most intelligent thing I've ever read on the H.A.M.B.. Thank you. -stick
     
  28. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 3,910

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Dusty,
    I hear what you are saying regarding costs of running a restaurant- I did infact look into the Bob's franchise info several months ago and knew exactly the amounts that you posted, not being sarcastic here-I'm impressed!
    I beg to differ on whether or not this place can make it as a restaurant again. Both RUBY'S and Mel's diners had expressed interest in the location. This was brought up to the city council on Tuesday night.
    If both of these well financed businesses were/are willing to take a chance on this why would anyone doubt it's ability to make money,(This would be a benefit for the GOOD of the community in all aspects). From what I can tell, Christos never got back to eiither of them and this is how this Christos works.
    The public supported this drive in for 45yrs and this is how the public repaid. Again,this is a commercial peice of property and if this caretaker wants to make any money with it, he will remember how the public was treated.
    I know that this has turned into by some a controversial subject,but as a business owner The city,county & state has rules which we as a business have to abide by,while I don't agree with all of them, there's the old addage, "if I want to play I've gotta pay",there also another one, "It takes money to make money". Christos wasn't putting any money into this place and wanted it to fail on purpose. The public who supported it so long does not.
     
  29. plan9
    Joined: Jun 3, 2003
    Posts: 3,923

    plan9
    Member

    yep... praisethelowered pretty much summed up what id have liked to say.
     
  30. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,206

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    OK, so I've been following this for a few days after my off-topic rant. I saw validity in both sides, but the point I was trying to make is that people who don't have heart and soul in America shouldn't be allowed to ruin the heart and soul of America.
    I was going to stay out of this, but I had to step up and completely agree with Praisethelowered's last post. They said it better than I ever could!

    Now, what can a Tucson mechanic do to help out with this? I'm willing to step up and be active so we can all enjoy the culture that we choose to create. If I overlooked an answer to that in a previous post, my apologies! I have ghetto-internet at home and short break times at work. I have not been able to study every post.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

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