California Iconic Restaurant to Close Paving Way for Updated Restaurant, Architectural Co-Project

The end of an era.

After five decades, Gladstones the iconic oceanside seafood landmark will shutter its doors to pave way for a new Wolfgang Puck project designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.

Gladstones first opened in 1972 in Santa Monica Canyon before moving to its beachfront location in 1981. Sources say the restaurant will close in October.

The oceanfront land is owned by the State of California and leased back to L.A. County. In 2018, the Board of Supervisors voted on a new project to replace the landmark two years after disgraced former L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl called the property “seriously outdated and deteriorated”.

However, according to Deadline Hollywood, there was some controversy expressed by Supervisor Kathryn Barger over how the decision was made by Beaches and Harbor as to who would secure the project.

Although Gladstones was once Southern California’s highest-grossing restaurant–and remaining among the Top 100 grossing eateries nationwide as recently as 2017, the iconic eatery lost its lease to the property in 2017 to the new Wolfgang Puck/Frank Gehry designed project who secured a 40 year lease as an incentive to rebuild a more modernized structure.

The new restaurant, featuring locally-sourced, farm-to-table cuisine, a lounge, a rooftop bar, a public deck, and an ice cream shop, will break ground on the site in 2024 and sources say there will be a monument honoring the Gladstone’s era.

Ex-L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan was the owner of Gladstones before his death in April, at 92. Memories of their famous clam chowder, peanut shells strewn on the floor and leftovers in fancy foil shaped animals will not be forgotten.

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The L.A. restaurant scene fell on hard times during the COVID pandemic. Back in 2020, the County Board approved the “Gladstones Rent Relief” motion, which reduced the rent while the County kept restaurants from operating below 100 percent capacity. Ironically sponsored by Kuehl who created her own scandal attending a Santa Monica eatery during the lockdown.

Only a month left to enjoy this historic restaurant before it’s demolished preparing for the new project to break ground in 2024.


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