Lucy Florence Cultural Center
Lucy Florence Cultural Center is a premier entertainment venue and mini-retail center. Features include a 52-seat theater, retail shops, art gallery, theater screen, meeting rooms and an extensive catering menu. Lucy Florence is known for putting on high-style affairs, great food and gourmet desserts. The owners are the famed A-Swirl Twins from Tyra Banks' America's Next Top Model, Richard and Ron Harris. The business is named for their mother.
I hired them for an event during their heyday when my boss wanted a launch party for his new online casinos approved for US players websites. Sure, I know, some might think "Are you kidding me, a launch party for online casino websites? Really! Well, it was more than that. My boss was opening a club with the requisite flashy, hip bar scene, a dance floor and a "gambling room" where guests could play any number of casino games from slots, to black jack, roulette, or poker. Initially it would be a members only gambling room, but it turned out to be so successful my boss opened a second room where anyone could play upon paying an entry fee. Some nights the rooms would be packed, particularly if one of the US player friendly online casinos was holding a tournament. Richard and Ron Harris were great creating a fabulous launch party.
Prior to the 2000 opening of the Lucy Florence Cultural Center in Leimert Park, the Harris brothers had opened a Lucy Florence Coffee House in Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd, a great location that was surrounded by three theatre companies whose patrons would end up at the coffee house after performances. A small theatre attached to their building permitted the brothers to lease the facility to various African American theatrical performers and musicians. The Grammy Award winner Macy Gray was a Lucy Florence Coffee House regular where she hosted evenings of entertainment interspersed with performances of her sulty jazz and R&B singing.
After the move to the Leimert Park Village, the Lucy Florence Cultural Center retained some of its Hollywood customers. However, now most of its customers were members of the local African American community. In addition the cultural center had many affiliates who used the space for regularly scheduled events and meetings. As of 2009 the Harris brothers were hoping to expand the entertainment entity of the Lucy Florence Cultural Center.
The following organizations have selected Lucy Florence as their home for regularly scheduled meetings:
- North Carolina Central
- Southern University Council and Alumni
- Howard University
- Jack and Jill
- Morehouse College Alumni
- UCLA Black Alumni Association
- Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson Community Roundtable
- S.O.A.R.S. Investment Club
- The Third Ear
- Women at Risk
- 100 Black Men of Los Angeles
- Dorsey High School Alumni
- Lullaby Guild (for Ebony Fashion Fair)
Sadly in 2011, after being a part of the historic Leimert Park Village for 10+ years, issues with their landlord resulted in the closing of the Lucy Florence Cultural Center, although their second location of Lucy Florence on Pico and Spaulding remained open.
Lucy Florence Coffee House
5671 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Among the swirls of rumor Ron and and Richard Harris published an open letter on the website of Leimert Park Village called: Leimert Park Beat.
Lucy Florence Cultural Center wants to thank the community for its continued support. Our goal has always been to serve the community with dignity and integrity, and to that end want clear up some rumors and lies that have been spread about our lockout from the space in Leimert Park……
This is bigger than us. This is about the community, and the responsibility to treat the community with caution, care, compassion, and good character. That hasn't happened here with the disrespectful way that we, our tenants, our partners, our supporters, and our community have been treated by Mr. Calloway by his actions in his situation. It is always our preference to resolve business issues in private and with civility. Unfortunately, this was made impossible due to the deception and malicious intent of these actions. Rumors are circulating that Lucy Florence is being evicted for non-payment of rent. We thought it only fair and right that we set the record straight as we thank you for your continued support and hold out hope that Lucy Florence Coffeehouse and Cultural Center remains a jewel of Leimert Park Village.
With love, gratitude and respect,
Ron & Richard Harris
Owners, Lucy Florence Cultural Center
Finally in January 2012, Lucy Florence closed its doors in Los Angeles, bidding farewell to the Harris brothers' unique contributions of cultural awareness and southern-style hospitality in Los Angeles.
The lucyflorence.org’s domain eventually expired and the Harris brother’s long time website disappeared from the internet. They still retain a presence on the WWW with their facebook page.
When I learned that Lucy Florence.org’s website had disappeared, I was simply shocked. I had frequented the Lucy Florence Coffee House in Hollywood as well as the Lucy Florence Coffeehouse and Cultural Center in Leimert Park Village whenever I was in town on business. You can imagine my surprise when I recently discovered that the site's domain was now available. I decided to buy it with the goal of recreating some of the original content from its archived pages. I did not want someone else to purchase the domain and re-purpose the site for something that had nothing in common with the original website.
Consider the information on this site for its historical value and a bit of nostalgia, only.
Twin brothers, Ron and Richard Harris, established Lucy Florence in 1996 as a coffeehouse and art gallery adjacent to L.A.'s famous Hudson Backstage Theater. The project is named for their mother (Lucy Florence) as a 75th birthday homage. They are lifelong advocates for women and it is out of adulation for their mother, sisters and all the women in their lives that they have pledged a commitment to the empowerment of women through creative expression in the arenas of art and business.
In 2000, Lucy Florence Cultural Center opened in the heart of the Historic Leimert Park Village as a premier entertainment and shopping venue. For ten years this impressive creative space provided a warm and comfortable atmosphere for enjoying coffee and desserts, shopping, theater and art exhibits.
Ron and Richard Harris, are avid proponents of culture, performing and visual arts. Perhaps most popularly known as the A-Swirl Twins on Tyra Banks' America's Next Top Model, the brothers were movement coaches for Banks, and helped her refine her world famous catwalk. They have made a permanent impression in the worlds of fashion, entertainment and the arts.
The Harris brothers are philanthropists, dancers, teachers, coaches and nation builders.
Lucy Florence Cultural Center launched careers for some of today's top names like Grammy Award winning singer, Macy Gray. Acting veterans have fine-tuned their skills and scripts with theater productions of Jo Marie Payton's The Drama That Surrounds Me and Ella Joyce's, A Rose Among Thorns.
In addition to entertainment and the arts, Lucy Florence has been an umbrella under which entrepreneurs could start and refine a budding business. The Harrises provided a stable environment and lush surroundings for small businesses to lay anchor.
In 2003, Rhonda Kuykendall-Jabari founded Wellness Uprising (WU) inside Lucy Florence, a self-care and wellness company. She is a talented Reiki Master, intuitive empath, L.A. Reiki Examiner for Examiner.com and certified chakra balancer. Rhonda developed a series of signature healing events like Sips 'n Spas Sundays, the popular Wellness Uprising Solstice and Equinox Healing Fests, WU Energy Chronicles, pendulum workshops and Reiki certification classes. As a certified Reiki Master Teacher, Rhonda administered energy healing and Reiki therapy on clients in a private room on the 2nd floor of Lucy Florence. In 2011, Rhonda aligned herself with Vjananda (Rhonda Walker), a gifted and skilled spiritual facilitator, tarot reader, trans crystal therapist, polarity therapist and Reiki Master. Together, they continue a flourishing healing and educational practice in the Westchester La Tijera Medical Building at 8731 La Tijera Boulevard in Westchester, CA 90045. Rhonda invites people around the globe to become a Reiki Master through a self-paced home study program. She also teaches live Reiki I and II certification classes in Los Angeles, CA.
In January 2012, bidding farewell to the Harris brothers' unique contributions of cultural awareness and southern-style hospitality in Los Angeles, Lucy Florence closed its doors in Los Angeles.
As an institution, Lucy Florence is a safe and sacred space to call home. Artists and performers have the opportunity to test and hone creative expression while surrounded by a supportive and guiding energy.
In June 2012, Lucy Florence will be reborn as Lucy Florence Coffeehouse and Book Store in Peachtree City, GA. The Harrises have returned home to care for their mother, Lucy Florence (now 90 years old), and to leave their indelible mark in honor of her life in their hometown.
Guest Book Remarks
Good morning, miss lucy im a small business owner, looking for a place to introduce my cake truffles to the los angeles area, and after hereing about your shop, i was told that it would be a great place to do so. My website is www.caketrufflecottage.com. of course the samples i would bring in would be free. please e-mail me to ley me know how we can make this work.
September 1, 2011
I am so glad Lucy Florence prevails. The Pico location still offers the beautiful cultural environment open to many diverse people, to come together, create, share or just drop by! The Brothers continously inspire me with their kindness and care put forth in all. Change is good and the continued support of the community is needed to patronize whenever nearby. "Life is a constant battle against deadlock. As long as we are alive, as long as we continue challenging ourselves, we are bound to come up against difficult obstacles that need to be overcome. If life were all smooth sailing, if we never encountered setbacks, that in itself would be a sign of stagnation."
June 7, 2011
I am so sadden, upset, and frustrated to hear about the lock out of Ron & Richard Harri's Lucy Florence Cultural Center. It is disgraceful, and shameful that a landlord would allow such a situation to escalate for whatever reason; which subjects the Lucy Florence Cultural Center and the community it serves to a devastating loss of history and culture. I have done business with the Lucy Florence Cultural Center when employed at CBS and other clubs I've belonged to. I have personally patronized this location for over 17 years. Ron & Richard are the essence of Black America, dignity of character, and just down right beautiful spirits and people. What can the community do to help reverse this situation? I'm keeping my hear to the streets for an answer or resolve. I have nothing but Agope love for you Ron & Richard Be strong and thank you for allowing your personal situation public so that we can hear other facts that were not revealed. Blessings.
April 28, 2011
I am so excited that my dear friend Allen Brown with GRCN arranged an event performance with me at Lucy Florence Leimert Park on February 9th. Ever since he told me, I've spent hours online learning about how wonderful a place it is to be. I can't wait for our event to do our part to lift the world.
While living here in Shanghai for many years is also quite special, we can't find the spirit that is so obviously present at places like Lucy Florence and I'm sure it is going to be a very special evening together with everyone.
January 22, 2011
You guys seem to be doing a great job, saw you on Rachels last week, been a long time remember you from WGC. Wishing you the very best in all that you are doing.
January 16, 2011
Had a wonderful time on Sunday and was grateful to finally meet you in person. The Reiki and Charka clearing session helped move me into a place of relaxation and peace...and the abbreviated massage helped alleviate the tension in my right shoulder. Wow! Wow! Wow! Thank you for creating such a space for healers like yourself to do what you do best!! Looking forward to other events and possibly working together.
September 27, 2010
Thank you for hosting the equinox & solstice healing fests. You bring together some of the most talented healers in one place. I received the confirmation that I needed to a lot of issues, questions, and plans and I learned that the answers I had been receiving were right on point. I left yesterday with a sense of calm, confidence and light that I haven't felt in a while.
September 27, 2010
Hi Ron & Richard,
I'm Patty Kamson's mom and had the joy to spend a few too short hours with you during my recent visit to L. A. I had hoped to get back before I left but ran out of time. Your Center is a wonderful space and I so enjoyed the peacefulness of being there and also the wonderful peach cobbler and coffee, which I don't usually drink. I am looking forward to returning to L A in the near future and will definitely make your place a "must". May all be well with the each of you and your beloved mother. I will check the website frequently to see what is happening.
Sending you much love and peace,
May 23, 2010
We moved from the area...but, when I visit...I always come back for a cup of that wonderful coffee. I came just recently before a book signing, and you delivered superb coffee and service as always! Thank you!
April 1, 2010
Lucy Florence and Lucy Florence Pico are important venues in our community. As sites where artists and other healers can reach the rest of us, Lucy Florence has an historic function. As a home away from home, they fulfill a nurturing and restorative need. Thank you for being part of my universe!
April 1, 2010
Good Morning Lucy Florence!! Thanks so much for a beautiful evening with all the wonderful people that were there last night. It is my God-mother's Bday week and she really enjoyed the experience. Loved the performance. Loved the atmosphere. Loved the vendors. :-) See you soon!!!
February 20, 2010
Mr. Harris, you and your brother are the "Bomb!" Karen Briggs was the quintessence of musianship and musical eloquence.
Thank you for the invitation received on the FB. I promise to spread the word about our little pearl in our neighborhood,"Lucy Florence"... where the charm of art and the magic of music and culture blend so vibrantly!
Thank you again for a magnificent time, February 19, 2010.
Tomi Wright of Gretom Productions
~~~~ www.gretomproductions.com ~~~
February 20, 2010
Had a wonderful time at my Songhay's Dazzling Women, Red Hat Society Chapter meeting at your location in December. The food was great, atmosphere was festive. A nice venue for meetings in the community.
February 15, 2010
I love and thank you Lucy Flo!
January 21, 2010
I had a great day drinking hot tea and looking at the folks after the parade. I love it when you have that Red Velvet or Chocolate Cake. However, I don't like when someone is sitting at my favorite table!