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Saturday, Dec 9, 2023

Borderline Bulldozing on Horizon

The landlord of Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks has earmarked the property for demolition and redevelopment.

Thousand Oaks Planning Department Manager Stephen Kearns told the Business Journal leaseholders Brian Hynes and Troy Hale, who have operated the country music and line-dancing bar since 2007, didn’t renew their lease when it expired in December – a direct result of the pandemic.

“According to Brian, the Borderline would not have survived COVID-19 anyway, so it just wasn’t worth it,” Kearns told the Business Journal.

Hynes and Hale could not be reached for comment, and Borderline’s public phone number has already been deactivated.Kearns said the property’s ownership group, which wanted to stay anonymous, wants to redevelop the lot into something other than a restaurant.“Because of the way it’s designed, it could only be repurposed as another restaurant. They don’t feel that’s in their best interest right now based on the market,” he explained.

He added the owners are doing a market analysis to determine the best use of the property.Kearns said the city hasn’t issued a permit for the demolition, as the owners are still undergoing the competitive bid process to hire a contractor.In November 2018, Borderline was the site of a tragic mass shooting that killed 11 patrons, including several college students, as well as Ventura County Sherriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, who was the first responder to the scene. The bar never reopened for dining or dancing, but a memorial on the property became a sanctuary for those affected by the shooting and a place of collective healing for the broader Thousand Oaks community. According to the L.A. Times, the property owners will consider maintaining a memorial space that will remain open to the public on the redeveloped lot.

In late 2019, Hynes and Hale announced plans to renovate and reopen Borderline, as well as to launch a sister location called BL Dancehall & Saloon in Agoura Hills. The reopening of the original Borderline never happened, but the sibling club opened last January, just months before the pandemic hit.

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