WEHO TIMES readers have been asking about the historical handprint and signature belonging to famous Hollywood legend, Judy Garland, located behind the indoor bar at the shuttered Faultline Bar space at 4216 Melrose Avenue. We are here to report that the Judy handprint and autograph have gone somewhere over the rainbow. The Hollywood memorabilia has been desecrated after being at its location since 1963.
We found a newer slab of concrete shellacked at the back of the old Faultline Bar. The name “Ruby” (as in Ruby De Fresno, the bar’s owner) is etched in big bold letters on the exact location where Judy wrote her name and imprinted her hand some 58 years ago.
History has it that the Faultline space was once a venue called the Red Rouge in the late 1950s, to mid 1960s, owned by Judy Garland’s then husband, Sid Luft.
According to legend, as the concrete floor was being laid down during repairs, the star put her handprint and signed her name on the cement slab behind the bar. Judy also dated the moment back in 1963.
The Red Rouge morphed into the The Stud, a Levi/leather cruise bar from 1974 to 1988, and has morphed into other gay bars, including Griff’s, before it became the legendary Faultline Bar from 1994 to 2020.
On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, WEHO TIMES returned to the former home of the Faultline Bar to help the new owner leasing the space locate Judy’s handprint. The agenda was to get some photos to share with our readers and to stress their historical importance to the person who is taking over the space.
We had a former Faultline employee guide us to the location via FaceTime and were led to the entrance at the back of the indoor bar by the side of the building, next to the parking lot. The former employee was confused and then expressed shock when we peeled back a rubber mat and discovered the name Ruby in place of where Judy’s handprint and signature have been for almost six decades.
Former Faultline Bar owner Jorge Usatorres confirmed this was the location of Judy’s handprint through various of our photographs.
Usatorres also confirmed that the memorabilia left behind by the gay icon was still very much intact behind the bar when he sold it to the Faultline’s most recent owner, Ruby De Fresno, aka Ruby J Nuno, aka Ruby De Faultline, in 2016. De Fresno occupied the space until that location closed some time late last year. She says she is currently looking for a new space.
“I’m devastated,” Usatorres told WEHO TIMES upon learning of the removal of Judy’s handprints. “One of the reasons I purchased the Faultline Bar was because of its historical significance and I didn’t want it to go away. The historical significance is not only its location and its years of service, but the illustrious artifact that was inscribed in cement behind the indoor bar. Our lovely Judy once graced the establishment and we should always honor it. I feel insulted as a gay man and a member of the gay community. I feel like somebody has desecrated a site that meant so much to so many. It’s one thing if it was damaged. We still honor the space. It’s another thing when you put your name on top of someone else’s legacy and honor. I hope the Faultline Bar lives on, but this is scarring.”
The new co-owner of the space, Armando Cabana, was equally disappointed by our discovery. “Oh man this really sucks,” he said. “Why would anyone do that? I don’t like the energy behind this act. It’s like a bad omen. It drops the value of my new bar.”
After giving it some thought, he added, “I think the bad energy is going to go to the person who took it from here. Judy Garland signed it at this location to say she was here in this exact bar. This is where that Hollywood history belongs. It should be returned to its rightful place. Or give it to a museum. Don’t take it to another bar so you can use it as an attraction to make money.”
In an interview with Q Voice News, De Fresno stated that she had numerous items removed from the bar. “All the interior decor and artwork is in storage,” She said. “The neon penis, neon clock, and other historic items are being preserved, including the larger-than-life, iconic Faultline leather men art pieces.”
She does not mention the Judy Garland’s handprints in her list of “other historic items” that were taken from the place and are now being “preserved” in storage.
So far, De Fresno is handling the missing handprints in the same fashion she handled the closing of the bar at 4612 Melrose Avenue. Patrons posted messages all over her personal and professional social media platforms asking her if the bar was closed after she emptied it out. She ignored these comments and said nothing until WEHO TIMES broke the story that Faultline Bar was long gone at that space.
Now Hollywood history buffs and Judy fans are turning to De Fresno to ask about Judy Garland’s handprints at the bar she still owns on paper. So far, De Fresno’s response has been complete silence.
On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, WEHO TIMES sent Ruby De Fresno numerous emails, as well and numerous DM’s to her Instagram accounts asking her for information leading to Judy Garland’s missing handprints (she blocked WEHO TIMES from viewing her two Facebook pages). We’d like to know if she has any information on whether the handprints were ripped out of the ground, or have they been buried underneath the concrete we see today? Does she know if Judy’s handprints were, in fact, removed from their location, did they make it out of the bar in one piece? Also, does she know why the name “Ruby” is now inscribed over Judy’s place? Any information she has that she’d like to share with our readers would be much appreciated.
As of Saturday, January 23, 2021, De Fresno has not responded to our requests for comment, but we look forward to her response and will update this piece as more information develops.
For now, we can report with complete certainty that the Judy Garland handprints, like the Faultline Bar, have both left the building at 4216 Melrose Avenue. Both entities made their exit in a fog of vagueness and secrecy.
UPDATE: In a statement posted on the Faultline’s Facebook page that was forward to us by a WEHO TIMES reader, the bar’s owner admits to ripping out the Judy Garland handprint from its designated place. The statement reads as follows:
Another screen grab sent to us by another WEHO TIMES reader points to Ruby De Fresno as the person who defaced the Judy Garland fixture.
De Fresno keeps referring to the Judy Garland handprint as a Faultline Bar “artifact.” To be clear, Judy Garland did not sign that concrete floor for the Faultline Bar. It does not belong to the Faultline Bar. And it was not for Ruby De Fresno to take and “preserve” for her own personal or business gain. Imagine if the owners of The Stud or Griff’s, which were gay bars at the space before Faultline, had done what De Fresno did to that piece of gay Los Angeles history? Many of us might not know it ever existed today.
De Fresno also says that WEHO TIMES is obsessed with her personally. WEHO TIMES is actually obsessed with De Fresno’s complete inability to tell the truth. Most people work with the media to try to do damage control, but she alone, has created a PR nightmare with her complete lack of transparency and then following-up with complete falsehoods.
For example, former owner of Faultline, Jorge Usatorres, never said she damaged the handprints as she states in her post. He said, IF it was damaged, meaning if it had to be covered up, it should not be disrespected by putting someone else name on it.
Also, we reported that the bar closed at the Melrose location and De Fresno stated our report was false, when the bar at that location is in fact closed for good. And now she’s stating that our report on the desecration (meaning the disrespect of this sacred space) of the Judy Garland spot, where Judy Garland signed her name, is also wrong. She says this even as the name “Ruby” is right there scrawled over where’s Judy’s name used to be, and is garishly glaring at Ruby De Fresno right in the face.
Editor’s note: Anyone with photos of the original Judy Garland handprints from the Faultline Bar, please share them on your social media and tag us, or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share them with our readers. Thank you.