Whole Foods, apartment development could mean silence at Burbank's Dimples

Whole Foods, apartment development could mean silence at Burbank's Dimples
A 20-foot screen on the roof projects the live singers image for passersby on Olive Ave. in Burbank (File Photo)

If a proposed Whole Foods Market and apartment complex in Burbank are built, local karaoke institution Dimples may be taking its show on the road.

Amanda Landry, the city planner assigned to the project, said that the "Talaria at Burbank" project, which includes 241 apartments as well as a Whole Foods market, would take up the entire 3.8-acre site, including 3413 Olive Ave., the location of Dimples.

If the project gets the green light, Dimples will be demolished.

Landry said the developer, the Cusumano Group, already owns all of the properties on the site.

Dimples owner Sal Ferraro said Tuesday that even at age 83, with 49 years of experience in the bar business in Burbank, he's not ready to stop the music.

"I'm looking. I'd like to find another bar in the area," he said.

Ferraro, who named his bar after a Shirley Temple movie, said he's baffled at the thought of being replaced by a grocery store.

"I knew they would do something with this property eventually, but I never expected a market," he said. "We're the media capital of the world… it should be the media, not markets."

If Dimples is demolished, the absence of the 32-year-old karaoke hot spot will be noted not just by the weekend revelers belting out hits, but by regulars who have sat at the bar for the past decade or more.

John Oliver, sitting at the bar on a Monday evening, pointed to the tiny metal plaque bearing his name that marks his favorite bar stool — where he has sat for the past decade — and said that if Dimples goes, Burbank will lose a piece of its character.

"I think Dimples is true landmark," he said. "You hear people from all over the world, and they know about Dimples. It's immediate name recognition."

Oliver said he's been coming to the bar for many years for an after-work drink and to sing an occasional Sinatra song. He keeps coming back because of the friendships he's made with Ferraro, the staff and other regulars.

"It'll be a sad day. I've made friends that became like family here," he said. "If it were me myself, I'd keep Dimples and build around it."



Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.