A cafe in Silverlake, gentrified out of business, bids its customers a bittersweet goodbye

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Our old pal Marc Caswell, formerly of the SF Bike Coalition, I think relocated to LA a while back and just now shared an LAist (like SFist but in LA) post about a beloved cafe on Sunset Boulevard that after 20 years in business is shutting down because of landlords and Corporate America and everything.

Here’s an excerpt of the Casbah Cafe’s response to LAist’s reporter’s inquiry:

A bitter ending is always better than an endless bitterness. Casbah is a good example of a turning point in a neighborhood where reality switches from everyday common sense to the corporate world reason.

We stayed longer than reason permitted. We tried our best for the friends of Casbah, but what is impossible is impossible…so we were forced to go with no notice for ourselves either. We had to pack up 20 years of a business over night. Silver Lake as it was when we started the neighborhood is gone for good and we could not be the sole supporter for keeping Silver Lake as it started any longer. Casbah never meant to be in such an aggressive and abusive environment with closely surrounding corporate businesses just down the street wanting to be celebrities, just simply a beautiful and real place to be with interesting people.

And then there’s this:

Where was the media when a small business like Casbah was in need of their support when corporate America was jumping up at every Sunset building? Is it because Casbah didn’t pay for their ads? And after almost a decade of no writeups, it shuts down and now it’s the time to take the article glory on a home run.

So, I write a lot of posts that are like “_______ is closing,” and often it’s a place I’ve never patronized or maybe I patronized it once, and I guess probably pretty often it’s a place I’ve never written about. But I write about lots and lots of businesses that don’t pay for ads here (pretty much only Pop’s and American Tripps and pay for ads) — but I’m kinda lazy these days, so I’m sure I’m missing out on a lot of good stuff.

The point is, hit me up. (And if anybody else wants to pay for ads, hit me up too. We can get creative about it.)

Read on for more of the letter, which includes a quotation of some heavy French poetry.

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