clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Metro Selling Little Tokyo's Former Punk Hangout For a Buck

New, 16 comments

Got a dollar and a willingness to transport an unreinforced brick building across town? Well, Metro's got a deal for you! Blogdowntown reports that the transit agency is selling the squat but cute First Street home of Señor Fish in Little Tokyo for a buck, as long as the new owner agrees to relocate the building somewhere else--Metro needs the space for the Regional Connector, a new 1.9 mile underground rail line that will connect the Expo, Blue, and Gold lines (as part of the project, the current groundlevel Little Tokyo station will become a subway stop). The sale is a concession from Metro, which first considered tearing down the Fish's home--the agency now says they'll even consider pitching in on the moving expenses. The building has been in the same family since the 1880s and for a long time housed the Atomic Cafe, which became a legendary punk joint in the seventies and eighties: "On any given night you could see the likes of Blondie, The Go-Go’s, Devo, X, Warhol, David Byrne, Bowie sitting down having a bowl of noodles in the company of old Japanese men with full body tattoos. The legendary jukebox played everything from The Germs to Mori Shinichi until 4 in the morning as crazy waitresses would be jumping on top of tables trying to serve food," according to the blog Depth of Sense.

Anyway, Metro has to purchase the property before they can sell it for a song; they're waiting for funding from the Federal Transit Administration, though that's mostly a formality since the Regional Connector received its Record of Decision to proceed on the project earlier this month. The agency is wasting no time and is already seeking interested parties.

Señor Fish owner Enrique Ramirez is not pleased with the imminent closure of his restaurant, saying he just remodeled the place, putting changes in as late as last week (kind of strange, since the restaurant will be removed in a year). He says he hopes the restaurant can stay in Little Tokyo--if he's hoping the building will stay close, the area is pretty dense, but certainly has a few surface parking lots closer to the Civic Center that could be new-home possibilities.
· What can you buy for $1 anymore? Try a DTLA building [blogdowntown]