Cafe Stella owner Gareth Kantner caused quite a fuss earlier this year when he began building a six-foot high wall in front of a new Silver Lake bar he was opening at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Sanborn Avenue. The wall, which encloses a small patio, was designed to give his customers privacy and shield them from the traffic noise, headlights and street lights of Sunset Junction. Well, it turns out that the wall, now painted a dark orange, was not tall enough, which explains why a black curtain now hangs over the sidewalk in front of the newly opened Bar Stella.
The interior of Bar Stella, described by the L.A. Times as a “Moroccan-inspired boite,” may seem picture-perfect, and there is no shortage of customers packing the bar, lounge and patio framed by the inside of the six-foot high orange wall. But the harsh glare from the streetlights directly outside the bar and the yellow-and-red Pollo Loco sign across the street still intruded into the interior of Bar Stella. While most merchants may not think much about how street lights and glare will affect their customers, Kantner said he does. “I care,” he said at the newly opened bar.
In order to block the harsh light, Kantner had a thick black curtain made and hung between two utility poles. The bottom of the curtain remains about seven feet above the sidewalk and it is closed during the day time. But, around 7:3o p.m. on a recent evening, a Bar Stella employee emerges from the bar and stretches the curtain across the width of the patio.
The curtain maybe a temporary feature. Kantner said he has contacted the city about install some shields to block the street lights from shining into his bar. It’s not clear, however, how he’s going to block that Pollo Loco sign.