Study Session Discusses Concours d’Elegance, Next Night and Murals

In this week’s study session, members of the Beverly Hills City Council discussed plans for the upcoming Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance Father’s Day event and the return of Next Night street festival.

Also on the agenda was a discussion on the rules for murals and a request from Rodeo Drive business owners to replace existing sidewalk barriers with more aesthetically pleasing ones.

Concours d’Elegance

Beverly Hills will once again welcome families and car aficionados to Rodeo Drive on Father’s Day for the annual Concours d’Elegance car show. The tradition has been ongoing since 1993, save for a pandemic hiatus in 2020 and modified car rally versions in 2021 and 2022.

The upcoming car show, which coincides with U.S. Open Golf Tournament at the nearby LA Country Club, is expected to draw a large crowd to Rodeo Drive and contribute to a particularly bustling weekend in the city overall.

In order to help accommodate the crowd, the length of the show has been extended by an hour this year and will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 18.

“This is truly a wonderful program for our city and I’m an absolute supporter of it,” said Councilmember Sharona Nazarian. “I agree that the extra hour is going to be fantastic and also promote people’s shopping and dining and staying within the city.”

The show will feature a wide range of cars from pre-war collectibles, to winning race cars, top of the line Rolls-Royces, Lamborghinis, Bugattis and even vintage low-riders.

Next Night

Further out on the horizon, but nonetheless an exciting prospect, is the return of the Next Night street festival this fall.

The festival is put on annually by the Next Beverly Hills Committee, a committee of young leaders charged with creating initiatives to address the lifestyle, economic and civic needs of residents in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
Last year’s event was a booming success that drew a crowd of 5,000 whose high spirits were only slightly dampened by unexpected rainfall.

“I definitely agree that last year was on a different level and I was one of the people that stayed and danced in the rain,” said Councilmember Lili Bosse. “I think that this (Next Night) has grown to a new dimension and we have seen our city grow as well in the sense that people now are wanting to move here, open restaurants here, they’re seeing the vibrancy and I think that this really will attract the next generation.”

This year’s proposed event has been moved up from its former October slot to Saturday, Sept. 9, in hopes of clearer skies. The event will continue to feature live music, food stands, art, games, business promotions and also focus on adding more attractions for children and teenagers.

Mural Rules

City Councilmembers discussed adapting the city’s mural rules in response to a string of mural requests, including one by the Beverly Hills Rotary Club, that don’t align with the city’s existing guidelines. Currently there are two processes for mural approval.

The first is to go through the Arts & Culture Commission, Fine Arts Commission and then City Council for murals intended to be painted on a city property. The second path is to go through the Architectural Commission for murals on private property, however these murals are only allowed to depict “architectural and landscape features, such as trompe l’oeil,” according to the Beverly Hills Municipal Code.

The Rotary Club is interested in creating a mural honoring the legacy of the service group within the community as it approaches its 100th anniversary next year. However, its desired mural does not fit clearly into either of the two pathways.

“I completely agree with and love the idea of celebrating 100 years of rotary and celebrating our community,” said Bosse. “I think what you’re hoping to do is extraordinary and is something that our community will love.”

Council directed staff to review the mural guidelines and come back with suggestions to help accommodate requests like that of the Rotary Club.

Rodeo Drive Barricades

Last up during the study session was a request by Rodeo Drive merchants to replace the existing concrete K-rails barriers on the street with more aesthetically pleasing protective bollards. These bollards are metal poles that can be removed and put back into place to adapt to different events on the street.

“One thing that is certain is we need some sort of protection (from vehicles),” said Kathy Gohari, president of the Rodeo Drive Committee. “However, the beautification of the process is also really, really important to us. Those K-rails are probably the best K-rails in the world, but they’re still ugly.”

Council approved this request and directed staff to begin collecting bids for the bollards and consulting with the Beverly Hills Police Department on how to best install them for safety purposes.