This weekend The Sunset Strip lost one its most beloved personalities with the passing of Tony Nassimi, the owner and operator of Terner’s Liquor for more than 30 years. Nassimi, whose landmark store served as the proverbial “well in the center of town,” was a Strip staple that locals, visiting bands and club-goers would stop in to visit, regardless of whether or not they had provisions to purchase.
Tuesday morning, as news of Nassimi’s sudden passing finally broke, word rapidly disseminated on Facebook, as stories and condolences were posted and shared by dozens of friends, patrons and members of The Sunset Strip community. Even former locals who had long since moved away contributed their own memories of times spent with “Tony of Terner’s.”
Nassimi’s passing particularly affected the staff of the neighboring Viper Room, who have long considered the corner store a literal and figurative extension of the club. During a staff meeting, Viper employees shared memories of their dear friend, whom they had become accustomed to chatting with on a nightly basis. Calls also poured in to the Viper offices from “generations” of former staff seeking confirmation of the saddening news.
A genuine pillar of the community, it was not uncommon for Nassimi to lend out money to acquaintances in dire straits, keep tabs/extend credit to those who couldn’t immediately afford to pay, and dole out treats to any canine friends that came to visit. Even rock stars the likes of Sebastian Bach, Slash (who at one point worked at Terner’s), The Runaways, The Go-Go’s and Joan Jett (who presented Terner’s with a framed gold record) would regularly stop in to pay their respects to “the man” when playing a nearby gig.
On a personal note, Tony Nassimi kept me employed and afloat during my own desperate financial times, setting me on a path that has brought me to where I am today; and for that I will always be thankful.
West Hollywood City Council will adjourn the Council meeting in Tony Nassimi’s memory on Monday, Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m.
--Brent X Mendoza, @brentXmendoza