"We've done a lot of partying over the past two weeks, and a lot
of crying," Tavares said by phone this week from Veterans
Administration Hospital in Westwood, where he is recovering from hip
Tavares' lease expired Jan. 1, and was not renewed by the property
owners, Mildred and William Ontiveros, of Glendale, who have owned
the parcel since 1970.
"There were just too many problems there as a bar," Mildred
Ontiveros said. "We just didn't want to have that bar. It had nothing
to do with the personalities. It had to do with the fact that it was
a bar, and it was undesirable."
On Jan. 18, the country and western bar was the scene of a
gang-related brawl during a hip-hop party that resulted in seven
people being injured, including three by gunfire, authorities said.
Four years ago, Crazy Jack's employee Colleen Harris was getting
ready to make a bank deposit when a car driven by Betty Blaylock, 74,
of Burbank, rammed into the side of the converted office where Harris
was working, killing her.
The bar and grill also gained notoriety when Tavares publicly
defied the state's ban on smoking in restaurants. But it was the
crash and the brawl, coupled with what they called "bad elements" at
the bar, which prompted the owners to not renew the lease, they said.
They gave him 60 days to move out.
Tavares did not go quietly.
The place closed with partying customers, who even made up
"I feel cheated," Tavares said. "I had a chance to sell it, but my
landlord decided not to give me that opportunity. All they did was
put a lot of people out of work -- band members, six bartenders,
three waitresses and a busboy/cook."