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Sat, May

Gladstone’s Last Oyster

LOS ANGELES

THIS IS WHAT I KNOW--The iconic beachfront Gladstone’s may be serving its last oysters by October 2017. County officials aim to entice a new restaurateur or developer by expanding the maximum concession terms, which would give the new developer time to recoup investments. 

A vote by the County Board of Supervisors has doubled the long-term lease for the Pacific Palisades property to forty years from its current twenty-year term and would require a redevelopment plan for the facility in hope that a new establishment would be constructed from the ground up. 

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl wrote in a motion to the board, “Because the existing facility is seriously deteriorated and outdated, the Department desires the successful bidder to construct an entirely new facility.” 

Angelenos and tourists have been ordering chowder, crab cakes and the like at Gladstone’s since 1972. The eatery pays about $1.7 million in rent each year to occupy the state-owned property, which is operated by the county. The county discounted the rent to $875 K this year to accommodate the restaurant’s financial setbacks, according to the LA Daily News. 

How would the lease expansion bring in a bidding war? Kuehl’s motion would give new facility owners or developers forty years to recoup the cost of renovations or redevelopment instead of the existing twenty. The current owners of Gladstone’s would be eligible to rebid on the property. 

Carol Baker, spokesperson for the LA County Beach and Harbors said, “This isn’t some, ‘Let’s do this to Gladstone’s.’ This lease was coming to an end. We need to think about what’s the best way to move forward on this iconic property. It’s a harsh environment, right on the ocean. That property experiences a lot of wear and tear. An operator will need to address that – while you’re at it, what is your concept?” 

Former Mayor and current majority stakes holder of Gladstone’s Richard Riordan has some ideas, including a possible museum with a restaurant. He’s not officially tied with any redevelopment plans but favors the idea. “I think it’s a good idea if they can put the pieces together,” he said. 

The benefits of the proposed amendment include minimizing loss of revenue for the county when Gladstone’s closes, as well as making maintenance and security costs more affordable for a new operator. According to The Daily News, the restaurant has been running at a deficit of $100,000 per month. 

Currently, Gladstone’s website assures guests that there is no set closure date for the beachside restaurant. 

ATTENTION GUESTS:

Despite what you may have heard throughout the media, at this present time, there is no set closure date for Gladstone’s Malibu. We are happy to continue taking your reservations and event inquiries over the phone or via email/website submission. Thank you for your continued support and patronage to an iconic beach landmark!-Management.

 

(Beth Cone Kramer is a Los Angeles writer and a columnist for CityWatch.)

-cw

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