The Old Town Report for Feb. 18, 2016

By Pam Fitzpatrick

It may be surprising to some that most cities have ordinances pertaining to the riding of skateboards in public places: the City of Monrovia is no exception. For those of us who have businesses in Old Town Monrovia, and those of us who stroll our Historic District’s sidewalks, the new, larger “No Skateboarding” signs which are about to be installed in Old Town cannot come soon enough. It is extremely unnerving to be walking down Myrtle Avenue and hear the sound of half a dozen wheeled riders coming up fast behind you, and then to have a trail of bodies whiz pass you on both sides and continue on down the avenue weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic. Rude and inconsiderate – maybe, but some of it is just a matter of being uninformed. So I’ll share …

Monrovia Ordinance 10.36.020 prohibits skateboarding at any time from Ivy to Primrose and Olive to Foothill, or within the area defined as Old Town. That ordinance applies, in fact, to bicycles and the new hover boards as well. Sgt. Newton from the Monrovia Police Department reported to our Advisory Board (MOTAB) on Aug. 11, 2015, that for Street Fair, in particular, the PD will have a “no tolerance” policy and they will cite offenders.

The possible consequences of a pedestrian/skateboard meeting are not pretty for either the wheeled or unwheeled. For the Old Town lovers who simply didn’t know, the information will be enough: For the others, there will be increased enforcement and citations to follow.

Now on to the fun stuff: La familia Banuelos is expanding! Tony Banuelos is announcing that his family business will be expanding into the building next store, currently occupied by Golden West Supply (the best Army/Navy surplus store ever, I will add). Jerry of Golden West tells me he is retiring and will close as soon as he sells off his inventory, which by the way, is on sale at some great discounts. Jake’s will keep their famous back patio and plans to upgrade the front of the new site to match their existing façade – pending approval of the City and the Historic Preservation Commission, that is. Plans for the new side of Jakes include a bar and a room large enough to accommodate parties of up to 50 people. As part of a couple of family businesses myself, I know the hard work and commitment it takes to make a move like this, so “Congratulations” to the Banuelos family!

And more good news: the Sow House re-opened this last weekend after they completed some additional improvements to their interior. I’m still waiting to hear some definite news about the re-opening of Le Gourmand in the 400 block of Myrtle, and Bottega by Bella Sera said, “Two to four weeks” before they open. Funny, Hummos & Pita (109 E. Lemon) used the same sentence to describe their grand opening. I haven’t Googled it, but I suspect that’s code for “I’m not sure.”

Anyway, with the exception of the two very large buildings in the 300 block of Myrtle, the good news continues to be we have almost no empty storefronts available in Old Town.

We’re still looking for “Likers” to follow Old Town on FB, so take a minute to make us feel important and hit that “Like” button, please.

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