WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - The owner of a West Hollywood staple is passing the torch to the next generation.
On Wednesday, David Cooley announced he agreed to sell The Abbey Food & Bar and The Chapel to Tristan Schukraft. The acquisition is the latest in Schukraft’s portfolio of LGBTQ+ businesses, including the beachfront Tryst Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"The Abbey is more than just a bar. It's been a sanctuary for the LGBTQ+ community," Cooley said in a statement. "The Abbey has been a place of happiness and acceptance for so many. Now, it's time for someone new to lead. Tristan has been coming here for years. He gets what The Abbey means to people. I trust him to look after our community, our guests, and our team."
"This is both an honor and a significant responsibility," Schukraft said in an issued statement.
The entrepreneur continued to say, "I plan to respect and honor The Abbey’s history while bringing new ideas that reflect our evolving LGBTQ+ community and my personal approach to hospitality. We’re not just maintaining a legacy business and an international landmark; we’re adding to the future of LGBTQ+ nightlife."
Known in part for its iconic drag shows, Cooley founded The Abbey in 1991. It quickly became a hot spot in West Hollywood for celebrities, locals and tourists. Some of its accolades include being voted Time Out’s Best Gay Bar in Los Angeles and Zagat’s Most Popular Nightlife Destination.
The sale is expected to be finalized within the next few months.