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The much anticipated re-opening of the Conga Room at LA Live lived up to it's billing, as stars strolled across the red carpet and into its new location.
On hand were Alfre Woodard, Phillip Bailey and Verdine of Earth, Wind and Fire, Elise Neal, Jensen Atwood, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jimmy Smits, Bill Maher, Maurice Greene, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Eva Longoria, Paul Rodriguez, and Craig Robinson.
The lack of Black ownership at LA Live has certainly been noticed. The Conga Room may be the only tenant that has Black owners. Lakers forward Trevor Ariza, who played at Westchester and UCLA, Clippers forward Baron Davis, who played at Crossroads in Santa Monica and also at UCLA, and the Black Eyed Peas Will.i.am, all own a portion of the venue.
The Conga Room was located on Wilshire Blvd. from 1998 to 2006. This new version will have a full kitchen, contemporary architecture and art from internationally known Cuban artist Jorge Pardo and others. The venue has been dubbed the "Latin House of Blues."
The Miracle Mile location was ideal, but moving to LA Live will put the night club/restaurant right in the middle of the action. It will be a good spot for anybody who is not ready to call it a night after a Lakers or Clippers game, and it will be a good place to rub elbows with some celebrities.
The new location will have triple the occupancy. Its 1,500 square feet will be able to accommodate 1,100 people. Besides the dining room, dance floor and bar, the space will have a broadcast pod and editing bay.
Also in the LA Live complex is the Nokia Theater, Grammy Museum, ESPN Zone, Starbucks, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Lawry's Carvery, Yard House, and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill.