In September 2018, the Conservancy and the Miracle Mile Residential Association (MMRA) nominated Tom Bergin's as an 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, the Cultural Heritage Commission voted in full support to take the HCM nomination under consideration.
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. Tom Bergin’s was ultimately purchased by the Shalhevet School, located on the same block, which is interested to expand their campus.
Operating continuously for 82 years (1936-2018), Tom Bergin’s was one of Los Angeles’ most iconic and longest‐lived bars. Located since 1949 in the distinctive Tudor Revival structure at 840 S. Fairfax Avenue, Tom Bergin’s was a notable legacy business that boasted the second‐oldest liquor license in Los Angeles. 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.