Tom Bergin’s | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

Tom Bergin’s

On June 18, 2019, the full City Council voted in support to declare Tom Bergin's as a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM). It was approved with the following amendment:
"APPROVE the inclusion of Tom Bergin's at 840 South Fairfax Avenue in the list of Historic-Cultural Monuments, and clarify that the parking lot is excluded from the designation because it is not a significant character-defining feature of the monument."
Thanks to Councilmember David Ryu for his support of the nomination, and for everyone who wrote letters or attended meetings to speak at City Hall.

In September 2018, the Conservancy and the Miracle Mile Residential Association (MMRA) nominated Tom Bergin's as a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM). A new group, Friends of Tom Bergin's, has formed to help build awareness and to save Tom Bergin's.

On November 1, 2018, the Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) voted in full support to take the HCM nomination under consideration. On March 7, 2019. the CHC voted unanimously in support of the HCM nomination. 

On June 11, 2019, the City’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee voted unanimously to recommend designation for Tom Bergin’s at their meeting yesterday. Their recommendation included an amendment to exclude the parking lot from the designation.    

The longtime tavern closed in March 2018 and widespread concerns that the restaurant could be purchased as a teardown prompted the decision to nominate the property. The property was sold in summer 2019 and the new ownership, 840 Fairfax Owner, LLC, is managed by developer Christopher Clifford.

Tom Bergin's reopened on December 14, and a new project was submitted to the City that would construct a 209-unit residential development adjacent to the landmarked building, on a portion of the parking lot and the two lots to the north that were also acquired.

Operating near-continuously for 82 years (1936-2018) and reopened in December 2019 following the property’s sale to new owners, Tom Bergin’s was one of Los Angeles’ most iconic and longest‐lived bars.

SurveyLA identified the Tom Bergin’s as a potential historic resource eligible for listing as a local Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) in January 2015.

Skyrocketing rents, evictions, leadership succession, and pressure to sell and redevelop high valued and visible parcels of property are among some of the challenges faced by legacy business owners across Los Angeles. Tom Bergin's is just one of many long-term legacy businesses facing this threat.