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West Hollywood’s Formosa Cafe in the running for $150K toward preservation

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The money would help restore the building’s Pacific Electric Red Car trolley

Photo by Patrick Lee

The iconic Santa Monica Boulevard dining spot the Formosa Cafe is set to be renovated, but it could get a boost from a cash injection aimed at preserving a central part of the landmark red building

The West Hollywood landmark is one of 25 candidates in the running for a $150,000 prize in a campaign called Partners in Preservation, the Los Angeles Conservancy announced yesterday. (The venture will award $2 million total toward preservation of multiple sites.)

If the Formosa wins, the money would specifically go toward funding the rehabilitation of the Pacific Electric Red Car trolley, the oldest portion of the circa-1930s building.

The Formosa Cafe was nominated for the campaign by the Los Angeles Conservancy.

“Legacy bars and restaurants like the Formosa Café are exceedingly rare today, threatened by development pressure, increasing rents, and ever-changing demographics that make them difficult to survive,” said the Conservancy’s advocacy director, Adrian Scott Fine, in a statement.

You can vote for the Formosa at the campaign website, Vote Your Main Street.

The Formosa’s had a rollercoaster of a year. It shuttered in January, and though the building itself is protected, the mystery surrounding its future was worrisome. Thankfully, the new owners, 1933 Group (of Idle Hour and Highland Park Bowl fame) quickly made it clear that their plan was to restore and revive the building.