After years of closure in the wake of the pandemic, Downtown rooftop venue Top of the Hub, formerly known as the Wilshire Loft, will reopen its 10,000-square-foot event space with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, March 9.
Top of the Hub, which stretches through four large indoor rooms and onto two outdoors decks overlooking the Downtown skyline, boasts a built-in bar, dining room, lounge, bridal suite, catering-style kitchen and sound and lighting system. It was designed to hold nearly 200 guests and host a plethora of events, from lavish weddings to corporate parties and networking socials.
“Top of the Hub is going to be really geared to bringing people in LA together,” said Hannah Pope, events and production director. “I feel like the Top of the Hub is a very unique space. … It’s in a prime location because we’re right in the middle of Downtown.
“(We want to create a) very fun, enjoyable experience, something memorable for clients that come in and just for people in general. We’re coming out of a pandemic where we were isolated from people, so we really want to bring back that joy that Downtown LA has.”
Though Pope is looking forward to celebrating the venue’s grand reopening with a ribbon cutting hosted by the chamber of commerce, the journey to get to get to this point as been a tale of disaster and redemption.
In 2019, months before COVID-19 lockdowns swept across the country, Top of the Hub’s tenant was catering and event company Truly Yours. Landlord Sauli Danpour alleged that financial problems had started to impact the business in addition to compliance issues with the City of Los Angeles. Danpour suddenly began to receive calls and emails from Truly Yours clients worried about the state of its upcoming events and monetary deposits.
“Just over a weekend in May 2019, (Truly Yours owner Christopher Adlesh) just packs up and leaves,” Danpour revealed. “We stepped in, and we tried to not only make up for it, but we contacted caterers, we contacted event planners, we offered the event for free to the people that lost their deposit.
“I think about 10 of them that I know of were affected by it, not only for our venue, but also for an event venue in the Oviatt Building. … Then a few months after that, the pandemic hit and basically we had to shut down the event center.”
Pope worked as a sales manager for Truly Yours at the time, conducting tours and selling the venue to clients, primarily for weddings. One day, during a walkthrough with a client, Pope was approached by Adlesh and fired from the company, losing access to her company laptop and phones that held her clients’ contact information. She later found out through social media messages that the company had shut down.
“Immediately, I was in shock and also super sad because I sold this venue to people,” Pope said. “It was a very traumatizing experience. … I wanted people to understand where I was coming from, and also I wanted to offer my help. At the time, I was unemployed. I was getting unemployment, and I was literally offering, ‘Hey, I’ll help coordinate your event.’ I even partnered with a catering company and gave them the contact information as well to see if they were going to do catering for them.”
Immediately following the venue’s closure, Danpour described a nightmare of event cancellations, with one couple taking legal action.
“One of the weddings that was affected by the shutdown … the bride and groom actually sued us,” he recounted. “And now we’re friends. … (After learning the situation,) he dropped the lawsuit and we’ve been in touch since, and he’s actually helped us with the reopening and refurbishing the space.”
Pope explained that, though the experience was traumatizing for her, it made her into a stronger person today and her love for the space is what brought her back after the past few years.
“Honestly, for me, I loved this venue so much,” she said. “I’ve been doing events for 10 years and the Wilshire Loft was my first venue that I started to sell. … I know how much potential it has. It’s just a great center for these events and for networking and for LA. Now (having) a lot more experience working in venues all over LA, it’s great to partner with Sauli and really bring it back to life, and do more than just weddings.”
Top of the Hub
WHERE: Top of the Hub, 700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 700, Los Angeles
WHEN: Ribbon cutting begins at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9