Lucy Florence tenants face eviction

It’s official – the tenants of the Lucy Florence Coffee House and Cultural Center have been evicted from their space at 3351 West 43rd Street after a protracted three year legal battle with the property’s owners.

Recently, tenants Ron and and Richard Harris sent an open letter to explaining their side of the battle to remain on the premises, located in the Historic Leimert Park Village.

“Our goal has always been to serve the community with dignity and integrity, and to that end want to clear up some rumors and lies that have been spread about our lockout from the space in Leimert Park,” they said in the letter.

“It’s not true that we have not paid rent to the landlords, Fred and Virginia Calloway,” they claimed.image

Reached at home, Calloway said through his wife, that he did not want to discuss the Lucy Florence matter further.

But the attorney for the Calloways Barry S. Parker, did comment. He said, “Mr. Calloway was personally supportive of (the tenants). He directed a substantial amount of business to them,” Parker said in a telephone interview. “It’s was my understanding because of financial hardship, (the tenants) were not able to fulfill their commitment.”

In the letter, the Harris brothers claimed that there were “overpayments” to Mr. Calloway. They allege, “(he) had a habit of coming by whenever he wanted/needed money and publicly asking for money in the presence of Lucy Florence customers and business associates. In order to placate him, we would pay him some money when he made the request.”

The allegation that Mr. Calloway asked for money unofficially at various times is “absolutely not true,” Parker said.
The Harrises claim, “We have made every effort to give Mr. Calloway the final payment and resolve this issue. Our attorney has sent emails and left messages for Mr. Calloway’s attorney without the courtesy of a response.”

In response to the claims, Parker said the tenants are solely responsible for the protracted legal battle, and the resultant eviction.

“In 2008 we evicted them and (Calloway) was receptive to letting them reinstate their tenancy and he remained supportive of the business and held functions at their facility and tried to be supportive of what they’re doing. I mean, he directed business to their facility.’

According to their web site, the Harris brothers established Lucy Florence in 1996 and named it after their mother as a birthday homage. The store front was a premier shopping venue in Leimert Park, the web page said.

“Normal evictions take about four to six weeks to be concluded,” Parker said. “This went on for months and months to let the tenants have a chance. But (the tenants) were looking for ways to protract their tenancy irrespective of paying rent.”


  1. good luck!

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