Revolver Video Bar is thriving and the party may finally be over for Block Party WeHo.
In a phone interview this morning, Revolver’s owner Chris Miller confirmed to WEHO TIMES that he is negotiating terms to lease the adjacent space that is currently occupied by Block Party.
Block Party WeHo, a t-shirt, underwear and bathing suit store that also sells, condoms, lube and cigarettes advertises themselves (with no lack of humility) as the “Gayest Store on Earth”.
The Block Party lease expires on December 31st and Revolver’s lease agreement entitles them to the “right of first refusal” as the largest commercial tenant in the building located at 801 Larrabee Street.
Revolver’s business is better than ever, said Miller and he’d love to expand and the opportunity of gaining more exposure on Santa Monica Blvd is too tempting to turn down.
Miller had a rather public and costly imbroglio with a former Revolver business partner a few years ago, but he chooses not to dwell on it. He prefers to focus on the “positive”.
“During that time, people asked me why I was fighting, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars? Because I have 25 employees because I can…I’ve loved the space for over 20 years and I love this bar” explained Miller.
Chris Miller didn’t necessarily need Revolver to support himself. He is President of Barrymore Brands, a lifestyle and fashion company he heads up with actress Drew Barrymore. Their friendship and partnership have lasted 19 years and Miller is also the Godfather to one of Barrymore’s daughters.
Chris Miller is a “nice guy”. You get that after only a few minutes of talking to him. Chris loves his employees, many who have been there for 7 years since Revolver opened. He loves going to their Facebook pages and seeing 5 or 6 them hanging out together on the beach. “I feel like a proud parent, my kids like each other” said Miller. “You know my doormen hug our regulars.”
So why expand and what are his plans for the new and enlarged space?
“I want to keep it warm, you can have ten people in the current space and it doesn’t feel cavernous, it feels warm, the right thing is to keep that feel.”
But when Revolver is packed and that’s often, its wall to wall people. Chris notes when he asked a friend if he’d been at Revolver lately, the response, “I love it but when it’s packed you can’t move.
“That’s a good problem”, Miller told me.
Block Party’s lease is up 12/31 and all signs point to Revolver.
Chris wants the additional space to accommodate the walk to wall crowds on the weekends.
His plans including moving the bathrooms upstairs so that they would be ADA compliant and expanding much-needed storage and office space.
“I don’t want a mega dance bar, we’re not Micky’s and we’re not trying to be, but maybe ad some booths for bottle service, and expand the sidewalk area out and across Santa Monica Blvd” said Miller.
All this is contingent on negotiating lease terms, which Miller thinks he can work out and of course, permits, and dealing with the City of West Hollywood, but Miller seems very confident and his track record warrants it. “At least 6 months of construction pending approvals and all” Miller added.
Chris mentioned the possibility that Block Party could stay on, month to month during the process, but no decisions have been made yet.
Block Party’s owner Larry Block has been scouting out other WeHo locations, like Circus of Books which has been up for lease as reported by WEHO TIMES.
Several years ago, it went out of business and the space became an upscale gay lounge, East/West which closed in 2011. Revolver came back with a roar, a sexy new look, stronger cocktails, and some of WeHo’s hottest GO-GO dancers
The result is a resounding success with a weekend crowd that packs the relatively small bar to near overflow and a line to get in at peak times. Other times Revolver feels intimate, lots of regulars and a neighborhood vibe during the week and for Happy Hours.
I refer to Revolver as a “concept bar” and Chris Miller quickly agreed, but didn’t elaborate and I didn’t know exactly what I meant until writing this. Revolver strikes a happy medium between a neighborhood bar and mega dance club.
Revolver is a video bar reborn, growing up, still growing and very much proof that everything comes full circle.
Btw, Revolver got its name from its revolving entrance door.