Assi Market Closes After 17 Years

It’s final. After court hearings since October of last year, a judge finally decided Wednesday to allow the eviction of the Korean supermarket ASSI from its building on 8th Street due to non-payment of rent. A writ of possession has been forwarded to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, and the sheriff is expected to serve a five-day Notice to Vacate within three business days after receipt of the writ.

The court’s decision was a foregone conclusion, and the legal maneuver was considered an attempt by ASSI to delay the inevitable. Its $150,000 monthly rents were long overdue, and utility fees and other bills had gone unpaid to the point where creditors had taken legal action to force ASSI to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Today, estimates are that ASSI owes a total of 10 million U.S. dollars.

Established in L.A.’s Koreatown in 1998, ASSI had been the focus of several of the neighborhood’s most notorious labor disputes, with allegations levied not only by Latino workers, but by Koreans as well. In 2007, after four years of litigation, heated community protests, and on-and-off-again settlement talks, Assi Super owner Sung-chul “Daniel” Rhee and his former employees agreed to settle the workers’ class action lawsuit pertaining to unpaid overtime wages and racial discrimination for $1.5 million.

ASSI was also known to be the subject of almost annual orders by L.A. County’s health department to temporarily close due to vermin harborage and infestations. The most high-profile closure, in September 2013, is considered by many as the nail in ASSI’s coffin of financial woes, with news of the hygiene issues keeping customers away during that year’s holiday season. Rodents were also discovered at the supermarket by the health department as recently as September 2014.

This post will be updated as more details become available.

Assi Super Inc – Chapter 7
California Central Bankruptcy Court
Judge Ernest M Robles
Case # 2:14-bk-31356
Filed Nov 14, 2014

Petitioning Creditor: Marshall Broadway
106 1/2 Judge John Aliso, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Friday, December 05, 2014
Notice Of Hearing Taken Off Calendar Filed by Creditor The Lee Family Trust The Pak Trust. (Capeloto, J)
Related: Notice of motion/application and Motion For Relief From The Automatic Stay Or For Order Confirming That The Automatic Stay Does Not Apply Under 11 U.S.C. § 362(I) (with supporting declarations) (UNLAWFUL DETAINER) Filed by Creditor The Lee Family Trust The Pak Trust. (Capeloto, J) CORRECTION: Attorney to refile using correct docket event code ‘Relief – Unlawful Detainer (motion)’; Modified on 11/25/2014.