An auction, set to start at 9 a.m. Tuesday, looked to be the end of the Sportsmen's Lodge, but, considering the on-again, off-again reports of the Los Angeles landmark's expected closure during the past year, the whole thing is about as muddy as a man-made trout pond.
At this point, whether there will or won't be a new version of the Sportsmen's Lodge looks to be little more than a guess.
Reports in both the Los Angeles Times and Daily News agree that the Sportsmen's Lodge (not including the hotel) shut down New Year's Eve. But just what's to become of the property, or the name, hasn't been revealed.
The Daily News reported earlier this month and again on Tuesday that this is "the end of a 63-year San Fernando Valley tradition," and that the new owner may convert it into "new stores, a health club, a new banquet center and a high-end steakhouse."
The LA Times said in a story last month that the Lodge's Caribou Restaurant, Muddy Moose Bar & Lounge, and several banquet rooms were being temporarily shut down for remodeling and that the new owner planned to open a modern restaurant and boutique shopping center, "perhaps with a new name."
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Patrick Holleran, the operator of the lodge whose lease was not renewed, told the Daily News he plans to reopen the Sportsmen's Lodge in Long Beach or Santa Clarita. Likewise, he told the LA Times that he owns the rights to the Sportsmen's Lodge name. However, a spokesperson for the new owner, Richard Weintraub, said in Tuesday's Daily News that ownership of the name is in dispute.
Whatever is going on at 12833 Ventura Boulevard, it definitely looks like the place will never be the same. Tuesday's auction, set to start with a preview at 9 a.m., was expected to clear the decks of dinnerware, champagne flutes, kitchen equipment, Western artwork and the stools from the Muddy Moose bar.
And if all that's not confusing enough, check out the Sportsmen's Lodge Web site, where it appears to be business as usual in Studio City.
-- TJ Sullivan