Iconic L.A. Punk Club, ‘The Smell,’ to be Demolished

The Smell (Facebook)

Downtown Los Angeles’s iconic punk club, The Smell, could soon face a bitter ending after being served with a demolition notice this past Friday evening, just before Memorial Day weekend.

The alcohol-free club, which is “open to all ages,” was established in 1998 by owner Jim Smith, who told Breitbart News in a phone interview on Sunday that although he does not yet have the full details of what lies ahead, he’s not giving up on his nearly 19-year venture.

“We are actively putting together a plan and figuring out exactly what we would need to do and how much money we would need to raise and whether or not we could negotiate relocation costs from the landlord.”

Smith said he received the demolition notice on Friday and he posted the note on his personal Facebook page on Saturday:


In an interview with KPCC, Smith noted that The Smell experienced a 70 percent rent increase in a very short period of time. “They raised the rent, like within a month or two. That’s been a little bit of a struggle because they really jacked it up,” Smith reportedly said. “It went from $2,375 to $4,000 overnight, so almost a 70 percent increase right there.” He told KPCC that their building, located at 547 Main Street, was sold to L&R Group of Companies about a year ago, and that the new owner has been buying properties and land in the surrounding areas.

Businesses in The Smell’s area under L&R ownership have reportedly also received similar demolition notices.

The Smell relies heavily on volunteers and the $5 cover fee (30 percent of which goes towards staffing and maintenance, while the rest goes to talent). “We have a ton of volunteers that help and book shows and support the place,” Smith said.

According to KPCC, the punk club shares the same parcel of land with the New Jalisco, a bar that is also reportedly facing demolition.

In addition, according to LAist, there is no information available about the date or plans for the demolition and it will likely take until Tuesday for some information to be provided.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz