By Aaron Drake
Long a neighborhood staple and LGBT stomping ground, The Other Side piano bar and the adjoining Flying Leap Café in Silver Lake will permanently close its doors on Sunday. It will be replaced with a new sports bar, Hyperion Public.
Greg Hernandez at Greg in Hollywood reports the reason for the closure is that "owner Paul Hargis put the establishment up for sale last year saying he wanted to move on to other things" and includes a note left by Hargis:
It is with warm reflection that I pass along the bittersweet news of the closing of The Other Side and Flying Leap Cafe on June 24, 2012. Both have achieved landmark status in their own right, and each has had a real impact on the exciting Silver Lake food and entertainment scene over the past fifteen years. It also marks the end of an era for one of the longest continuously open piano bars in Los Angeles, with its original roots back to the late 1960s.
Hernandez reflects on his own fond memories of the bar and talks with some of the bar's other loyal patrons:
Real estate agent Eric Toro, 66, of Eagle Rock, and his hairdresser husband Robin Amussen, 59, had dinner at Flying Leap Cafe for one last time Wednesday then went to the bar for a farewell drink.
‘We’re going to miss it a lot, that’s why we’re here tonight,’ Amussen said. ‘I started coming here 40 years ago and it was one of the first bars I ever went to. I was underage when I first started coming here.’
Said Toro: ‘I’m sad about it. I’ve been coming here for 45 years. I hate to see it close. It’s been a fun place to party, a fun place to be with friends. There’s almost no place to go in Silverlake, period. There’s a great deal more acceptance in straight bars but I still don’t feel comfortable reaching around and hugging my husband and kissing him in another bar. It causes too many eyebrows to be raised. So it’s the end of an era for me and it’s certainly a cultural place that’s going away.’