Do George Arison and Grindr have their eyes on the Abbey?

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The Abbey, located at 656 N. Robertson, is one of the most famous bars/nightclubs in the world. Years ago, founder David Cooley sold a majority interest in the business of the Abbey to SBE Entertainment. Together, Cooley and SBE looked forward to growing ‘the Abbey’ brand into a global franchise.

Grindr was founded in 2009 by Joel Simkhai, a West Hollywood resident. With the dawn of satellite mapping, Simkhai, an Israeli tech entrepreneur, saw an opportunity to create the world’s largest social media app for the LGBTQ community.

In 2016, Grindr sold a 60% stake in the company for $93 million to a Chinese video game development firm, Kunlun Tech Co Ltd. In 2018, Kunlun purchased the remainder of the company for $152 million. Then, in March 2020, Kunlun sold its 98.59% stake in Grindr to U.S.-based San Vicente Acquisition LLC for $608.5 million. Today, the company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GRND and is based in West Hollywood at the Pacific Design Center.

George Arison, Grindr CEO

Grindr is now led by entrepreneur and CEO George Arison, a gay father of two and a ‘wheeler-dealer’ prepared to take the public company to the next level. Originally from Soviet Georgia, Arison brings a unique perspective to the Grindr brand, considering it a community-building franchise. The app is used in almost 200 countries, including many where being gay is a crime. Arison stated to Fortune magazine, “This is the only way for people there to have some semblance of freedom.”

At the heart of George Arison is an entrepreneur. He has expanded Grindr’s voice and partnerships. Recently, Grindr partnered with Mistr to produce “God Save the Queens,” a Pride Fundraiser Series Benefiting Local Drag Artists and the ACLU Drag Defense Fund.

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Arison’s list of successes includes co-founding an online marketplace to sell cars, www.shift.com. He also has investments in new companies such as Shipper, Carrot Fertility, Pulsar AI, and TravelBank, among others.

The opportunity for Arison to obtain the iconic Abbey brand and merge with the world’s largest online social media ap for the lgbtq community may be just the beginning. If the rumors are true, the Abbey may be Arison’s next big play.

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hifi5000
hifi5000
10 months ago

As with anything in West Hollywood,we will all have to wait to see what will become of this report.Hopefully the new owners will keep some stuff the same,so the customers will not be chased away.If gay customers don’t feel welcomed,they will stay away in droves and business will plunge.

Indeed
Indeed
10 months ago

The best thing that can happen…..is to sell it to a developer….and begin a transformation.

Glenn
Glenn
10 months ago
Reply to  Indeed

Like the transformation across the street?

Kevin
Kevin
10 months ago
Reply to  Indeed

Of course, we need another open hole like the Melrose triangle project.

Steve Too
Steve Too
10 months ago
Reply to  Indeed

Transform from one of the city’s biggest producers of sales tax to what?

Kevin
Kevin
10 months ago

Mr Arison is a great person and a visionary business leader. If he acquires the Abbey, it would be great for West Hollywood.

Jeremy
Jeremy
10 months ago

This sounds to good to be true .

Pastrafee
Pastrafee
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy

“too” good to be true 🙁 we’re sending you to summer school, Jeremy

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