Gladstone’s: New Operator, New Building?

Gladstone’s, the venerable oceanfront restaurant along Pacific Coast Highway (at Sunset), will have a new operator by October 2017, when the existing lease expires.

According to the Daily News, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, who owns most of the shares in the restaurant, has decided against applying for a 15-year extension to operate what was once the highest grossing restaurant in Los Angeles.

The state owns the land, but the concession is controlled by the county Department of Beaches and Harbors.

Riordan told the Daily News that the county has worked well with him, even reducing the rent this year (from $1.7 million to $900,000 annually) because the restaurant loses $100,000 a month. “What they [county officials] want to do is build a new restaurant,” said Riordan, who previously owned the former Mort’s Deli on Swarthmore.

Riordan’s existing concession agreement is good for 20 years, but the County Board of Supervisors voted on Aug. 9 to urge state legislators to allow a new 40-year agreement in hopes of enticing more bidders.

In her motion, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl stated: “Because the existing facility is seriously deteriorated and outdated, the department desires the successful bidder to construct an entirely new facility, which the department believes will require an agreement term of 40 or so years.”

According to City News Service, Kuehl hopes that an eventual developer will be able to “completely reposition the property and take advantage of its unique and special coastline location.” The existing Gladstone’s was built in 1972.

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