Josh Lowenthal Sells Sachi, Comments To LBReport.com
(March 3, 2009) -- Josh Lowenthal, whose name surfaced briefly in early 2008 as a possible contender for the LB School Board seat held by Michael Ellis (whose term the LB Area Chamber of Commerce tried to end by recall, then dropped), has sold Sachi, a cutting edge nightclub (PCH/2nd in Seaport Marina Hotel) that he co-owned and operated with a partner (through an LLC).
The son of state Senator Alan Lowenthal and Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, Josh Lowenthal responded to our mailed invitation for comments on the Sachi sale:
It's been a phenomenal experience. We always felt Long Beach lacked a venue that was truly inclusive, where all walks of life could forget about their worries and dance the night away. To that end we not only diversified entertainment and promotions, but also staff, events, and marketing efforts. We had everything from club to metal events, from Kenyan to Cambodian nights, from Jewish to Chinese New Year, political fundraisers and protestors, gay/straight and even Lakers/Celtics. Yes, even Celtic fans are welcome at Sachi...
When I reflect on what we created I'll always think about the couples that first met at Sachi; newlyweds and now new parents. I mean, it's beyond rewarding to know we had even a small role in the genesis of new families -- some of them stay in touch and give us updates on their happenings, especially when babies arrive.
So why sell Sachi?
When Sagi and I opened doors at Sachi we only expected to be around for two years or so, given our long-term interests and of course the pending SeaPort Marina development. It's now been almost double that and we’re ready for new challenges. I think the failure of Lennar to develop the SeaPort property created a window where Sachi became a sellable asset, so we solicited offers. As a profitable business in a bad economy, there were many interested parties, and we found buyers that agreed to keep all our employees - a major concern of ours. So it was the right offer at the right time -- we decided to quit while we were ahead.
Mr. Lowenthal identified the new buyers as Lisa Bishop and Allan Heath of San Diego, with a corporation called LJB Bishop Enterprises.
What about future plans?
Sagi Rochman has returned to Israel to be with his terminally ill father but hopes to return during 2009. Josh Lowenthal continues to own/operate his telecom ventures: TeleJunctions and Yakfree (launching in the next quarter), as well as stewarding the board of Children Today. Upon Sagi's return they will look for new projects in the community, but no more bars. "The older we get the tougher it is to stay up so late."
In January 2008, TheDistrictWeekly.com's Dave Wielenga reported that Chamber of Commerce officials contacted Mr. Lowenthal about running for the LB School Board seat held by Mr. Ellis [whom the Chamber targeted for recall when a win by either of two teachers' union backed candidates could have created a union-backed Board majority.]
Mr. Lowenthal told reporter Wielenga that Shaun Lumachi [a member of the Chamber's "Advocacy Team" as "Consultant, Public Policy"] made the initial contact and set up a meeting. "I was approached by them, they’ve been talking to me about it, and I have to admit I'm considering it," Mr. Lowenthal told TheDistrictWeekly.com. "I'm not exactly a Chamber guy. But we both believe it's really important to remove Ellis from the school board."
TheDistrictWeekly.com piece said Mr. Lowenthal hadn't decided whether he'd run and the Chamber hadn't decided whether it would endorse him.
In April 2008, after neither of the two TALB backed candidates succeeded (removing the threat of a union-backed Board majority), the Chamber dropped its recall. The DistrictWeekly.com also reported that Mr. Lowenthal had already decided not to run for the seat.
Mr. Lowenthal is President of the LB-based non-profit "Children Today" (website text: "Our mission is to provide community-based services to children and families experiencing homelessness, fostering long term family stability and success. We provide these children with a safe, stable and nurturing environment while their parents take positive steps towards rebuilding their lives.")
He's also politically active. A supporter of 1st dist. City Council candidate Robert Garcia (who is also Children Today boardmember), Mr. Lowenthal introduced Mr. Garcia at the candidate's Dec. 2008 campaign kick-off press event.
In a December 2008 email, Mr. Lowenthal and Children Today VP Theresa Bixby urged support for Mr. Garcia, stating in part, "We write this as individuals and do not represent the Board of Directors of Children Today (Children Today is apolitical; as an organization it does not endorse candidates seeking office). However, we would both like to share our personal experiences working with Robert as a fellow member of the Children Today Executive Committee over the past few years in hopes you'll support Robert as well."
(Mrs. Bixby previously testified in support of the Studebaker/Loynes "Home Depot" development, whose EIR a court ruled invalid.)
In the 2006 election cycle, LB Schoolboard member Michael Ellis (part of a three-candidate slate backed by former TALB union management) sailed into office when then-incumbent Schoolboard President Dr. Suja Lowenthal dropped her Schoolboard reelection bid and successfully sought the 2nd dist. City Council seat abruptly vacated by Councilman Dan Baker.
LB Schoolboard member Michael Ellis' term expires in 2010.
State Sen. Alan Lowenthal and Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal are backing Mr. Garcia in the 1st dist. Council race. Assemblywoman (and immediate past 1st dist. Councilwoman) Bonnie Lowenthal has endorsed former 1st dist. Councilman (1986-1994) Evan Braude in that race.
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