Gaynor's Lounge, The Last White Bar in Little Saigon, Will Soon Be Evicted; Regulars Claim Discrimination

Categories: Indigestion

gaynors_lounge.jpg
Photo by Gustavo Arellano
Gaynor's Greeter

The last white bar in Little Saigon will be closing after 25 years in business after the owner refused to put up a sign that halves the bar's occupancy limit.

John Medel, the 86-year-old owner of Gaynor's Lounge, received a 90-day eviction notice from his landlord, Phil Trinh, after he refused to put up a sign that reduced the bar's capacity from 99 to 49 people.

"They don't have the right to kick me out of here," Medel said. "If I was behind on the rent, or created problems with the center, which we don't, then they have the right to kick me out. Although they own the property, but I mean after 25 years here and [being] one of the good tenants, they just kick you out of here?"

Medel has been the longest tenant at the Mall of Fortune--a shopping center that is made mostly of Vietnamese businesses, including famed Little Saigon restaurant Brodard. He believed it was not his responsibility to place the change in occupancy notice in the front and back of the bar.

After over two decades of operation, Medel sees the bar as a part of the family of businesses in the plaza and ultimately feels discriminated for being asked to leave.

Carmine Cicero, a customer who owns a barber shop in Santa Ana, says the eviction is unjust.

"John has been here for a lot of years, and he's being squeezed out of here for obvious reasons," said Cicero. "He is the only Caucasian in the center. It's not fair because he's been a very credible renter on the property and I think he's being dealt very unfairly. His business is being closed because of their priorities, but this is kind of a landmark regarding bars. And people have been coming here for a lot of years."

Since Medel received his eviction notice, he has also lost access to a storage area for beverages as well as parking and an outside smoking area. Some of the parking was removed to make way for a wall, owned by Trinh. The lounge can no longer offer designated parking spots, according to Medel. Customers who do come to the lounge have no option but to park in the middle of the lot, across the street or blocks away.

Rob McCain, a resident of Orange County for 35 years and longtime customer, said that there should be more notification from the city and property owner if changes are made to the plaza.

"The biggest change is when they come in and do renovation," McCain said. "They start coming in without notification or anything and building and changing and during the times I've been here, I've never seen an inspector from the city. When they blocked off his back doorway and enclose it, you go, 'Wait a minute now.' You can't go around doing things without notification from the city or from the owner. The way the city has been treating him is terrible."

Thumbnail image for brodard-nemnuongcuon.jpg
More nem nuong, less drunk gabachos and Mexicans

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Gaynor's Lounge

9902 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, CA

Category: Music

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39 comments
Ranman
Ranman

Can you imagine the manufactured outrage from our contributors if a Hispanic bar owner was being pushed out of a gentrified shopping center? It would be an assault on the true diversity of OC from people who probably brought their ill gotten wealth straight from their sterile white gated communities.

leeca98
leeca98

The McDonalds will likely be the next business to go in the same shopping center. McDonalds has attempted to buy more land around the restaurant for years so that they can remodel the current restaurant to current McDonald’s standards and have more space for parking. But the owner will not sell more space. On top of that they put a chain link fence around the McDonalds so that people eating there would not park outside of the McDonalds land. The shopping center would have much more parking if the owner had not taken up so much space with planters they added to the parking lot that have no tress because they will not spend the money to water them .

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

At first I was afraid...I was petrified...

kept thinking I could never live without you by my side...


m.e.
m.e.

it's all about the bottom dollar.. i dont blame the landlord.. racism? doubt it.. and im sure the landlord is probably fed up with gaynors for whatever reason... money or even just problems.. sometimes even if you make more money with another tenant you still wont kick out current one because of longetivity and reliability.. so obviously, this bar mustve really had probs.. just saying.. 

Nicholas Anthony Grimes
Nicholas Anthony Grimes

my friend Denise has worked there for years... one of the only non-bikini spots in the area i would consider walking into. very sad

Boyd Crews
Boyd Crews

I get my haircut every week in Little Saigon and I asked the owner of the salon why he did not have a website or if he was going to get one, and he said, well the Vietnamese community advertises by word of mouth, and we do not need a website, I said, well what about other race customers, such as myself who is white, and how many other races of potential customers might you not attain without having a website? He had no response to my comment.......Obviously they Vietnamese just wanna do business with the Vietnamese community only, no wonder most all the signs are in Vietnamese, and not english, so people like myself cant understand what kind of business they are offering we and end up just driving past, is how they want it........Im a business owner, and this type of mentality is not being a good business person!!!

jamiepizza99
jamiepizza99

the title of this story must be giving Gustavo arellano some excitement.     I love how everybody on here including the Whites will point out who's racist for having an opinion, while at the same time praise Gustavo while he's talking about how every White family in the OC has a black slave chained up in the basement.    Don't confuse the Vietnamese in the OC compared to the Real Vietnamese in Northern Vietnam.. the Vietnamese you see around here are from South Vietnam..very rare to see Vietnamese from Northern Vietnam in America. Huge Difference with the two.. kind of how Cubans are 20 folds smarter than Mexicans, although both are Hispanic. If We had Northern Vietnamese who migrate here,  you wouldn't see gays in the Tet Parade, Mexicans would move up to L.A., crime would go down because criminals would fear backlash from these Northerner Viets, also no black man will get away with running his LOUD mouth around here.    seems like our government likes the fuck up races more than the ones who are more Powerful...seems like that myth about jews running America may not be a myth after all.

gorkong
gorkong

Vietnamese are as racist as any ethnic group of people.  But, they area bit more corrupt and tend to hold grudges more than others.  So, this landlord 'kicking' him out really has nothing to do with race.  It has to do with 1 of 2 things: either the landlord can get more money by bringing in new tenant(regardless of race) to sign a new lease that is more favorable; or he doesn't get along with the owner of Gaynor's for some reason or another(not b/c of race).  Believe me, it's more about the money than race.


@Dave Nguyen, you're missing out on good food, man!

Tina Cano
Tina Cano

The Vietnamese have been knocking on my moms front door for years, begging to buy her house, sell her house, move out, whatever. She lives in the same house in GG since the 50's.

Sean Scarbrough
Sean Scarbrough

We gotta go before it's to late Mike and get "bottle service" and play Hank till we're tanked. Haha

Mike Gomez
Mike Gomez

That's just what little Saigon needs is another pho,banh mi shop, or rub and tug parlor. Gaynor's is the only diamond in that goats ass of a shopping center there is.

Al Luna
Al Luna

That's ugly!!! Had this kind of treatment been done to them, the race card would have been used. Maybe it's time he gets out of Garden Grove, have you seen how shitty it is???

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

The landlord sounds like a real tool...regardless of his race. :-(

Brett Bremer
Brett Bremer

I never imagined viet people hating white people to that extent, I grew up in GG. And only ran into hateful Korean people, Sad situation, But I guess when u have a mall specifically for Vietnamese people, They rather have just Vietnamese consumers their, Makes sense. But I guess the Landlord is the dictator. Oh well. If its an oldschool dive bar, Then just relocate somewhere as close as you can.

Jason Roberson
Jason Roberson

What I don't understand is how come on 4th of july you will get a ticket for lighting off fire crackers, but they hand them out on Tet in front of cops and no one is stopped?

Jessica Ancira
Jessica Ancira

Can't they start a petition? Have their customers help?

Anthony Nguyen
Anthony Nguyen

^False statement ie Chinese new yr festival forced out of the city while strawberry festival will be a staple.

Thai Tran
Thai Tran

A pho restaurant or cafe shop will take over that place..

Dave Nguyen
Dave Nguyen

Little Saigon sucks. That's why I never shop any Little Saigon shops or drive there over the last 14 years.

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

Wait What


I dont believe that YOU, THE OC, THE GATEKEEPERS OF RIGHT VS WRONG



blacks vs everyone( oh, wait, that would be everyone vs blacks)


everyone vs browns


and the still somewhat confused stance on on how the "asian thing" should be handled,,,obvious by this article



The only note made about whitey being "racistist" againsted 


was attributed to a 3rd party 


those of us who work for equality by treating the people equally, good or bad, would appreciate the same from people who I know would hate to be described as racist, and


it be true

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

But wasn't it Gaynor who sang..."I Will Survive" 


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA


FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@JBinOC  

...I used to spend so many nights just feeling sorry for myself...I used to cry...but now I hold my head up high...


Wait...NO SINGING! ;-)

RonaldMexico
RonaldMexico

Let's talk more about...Denise...PICS OR YOU ARE A LIAR!!

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@jamiepizza99 Love how I have NOTHING to do with this story yet your pathetic ass can't help but to bring my name up...

gorkong
gorkong

Don't be stupid.....Wait for a good offer and take it!

gorkong
gorkong

what?? there're rub and tug parlor in lil Saigon??

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

I thought of Hof's, also. The same allegations of racism were circulating when the landlord refused to renew their lease, too.

leeca98
leeca98


Because the Vietnamese student union was ripping off Garden Grove for about 30K each year and never kept proper books to show were the money was going.

RocketJ
RocketJ topcommenter

@GustavoArellanoI agree with Debaser7's succinct critique of jamie but  last I checked your name is on top of the masthead with the title editor. Does that not mean you are involved with every story OC Weekly publishes?  

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

jamiepizza99 said

sweetliberty17761776 GustavoArellano @ Sweet,  so true!!!    Gustavo is too obvious when it comes to being racist..but what's funny is in college minorities where taught that non whites can't be racist no matter what they say and when these students come in the real world, they don't know what to do when people like us call them out on their democrat BS...what's funny since I'm not really White,  democrats will say clear from Me...  democrats don't like it when some minorities think minorities are just as racist as the KKK.     that's where you get words like ''uncle tom'' or ''coconut''

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