A bitter taste
Haven Gastropub + Brewery falls victim to ‘DeLacey curse’
By André Coleman 05/29/2014
The 42 DeLacey curse has claimed another victim.
The Haven Gastropub + Brewery closed its doors at 42. S. DeLacey Ave. in Old Pasadena earlier this month joining half a dozen other businesses that shut down after short runs at that address.
In a Facebook status update, business owners said they were forced to shut down due to “circumstances beyond their control.”
“We fought for our life in this building with a cursed history, and took every one of [our employees’] jobs very seriously,” states the post. “The banks who own the building forced us out through complicated circumstances, and sadly there was just nothing we could do.”
Haven is just the latest in a number of businesses operating at that location to close after relatively short stints. Jerry’s Famous Deli, Pause Restaurant, Union Cattle Co., Dena House and Brix 42 all failed to make it at the location since Brignole’s Fitness — operated by pro bodybuilder Doug Brignole — closed in 1993 after nine years at the location.
“It’s a big space, and I think that’s part of the challenge,” said Chamber of Commerce CEO Paul Little. “They had a good challenge and seemed to do well, but it’s a large restaurant and it’s just far enough off Colorado that it doesn’t get the spur-of-the-moment foot traffic.”
In a 2011 interview with Weekly food writer Dan O’Heron, Haven Gastropub partner Ace Patel said the group was aware of the problems the other businesses had at the location.
“Asking around,” Patel said, “everyone said don’t go there, the place is cursed. The challenge made us all the more passionate and eager to move in.”
City officials are unsure why restaurants have not been able to flourish in the location.
Brignole told the Weekly in 2010 that his members expected free parking and would circle the blocks in frustration searching for a space.
Councilman Steve Madison, whose district includes Old Pasadena, also said that parking was an issue. In a previous interview with the Weekly about the location, Madison said that the parking structure across the street from the location on DeLacey Avenue fills up quickly on weekends and there is little parking on the streets.
“The key to success there is quality,” Madison said. “It has to be a place that people want to go to, because it doesn’t have the advantages that businesses on Colorado have.”