Instead, It Was Called a Chance to Offer Input
The following invite came from L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office for a presentation on June 18 at the Palisades Village Swarthmore Room.
“Please join PCH Beach Associates, the L.A. County Department of Beaches & Harbors and Supervisor Kuehl’s Office for a Community Open House to present Frank Gehry and Chef Wolfgang Puck’s vision for the redevelopment of Gladstone’s at Will Rogers State Beach.”
RSVPs were necessary. After checking in, your Circling the News reporter joined other people looking at poster boards on easels. Unfortunately, there was no formal presentation.
Puck, Gehry and Kuehl were not there, and developer and Pacific Palisades resident Tom Tellefsen seemed to be the only person who had answers. People waited in line to be able to ask him questions.
He confirmed there will be a public deck separated from the restaurant and people will be able to order from vendors there, order from the restaurant or bring their own food. Alcohol will be allowed on the patio, which will hold 100 people.
Given the beachfront location, there will be a banquet/wedding facility. The restaurant will seat about 650, which is about 100 less than today.
The parking will be valet in the lot, but self-parking will also be available for about 50 beachgoers.
The working title for the proposed restaurant is WP Beach Restaurant.
The Big Blue Bus or a Metro bus will turn left off Sunset onto PCH and after a short distance be able to turn right into the parking lot. Pacific Palisades Community Council President George Wolfberg, who was in the room, said this accessibility is an important aspect of the project.
Asked about the timeline, Tellefsen said that the project still has to go before the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the Coastal Commission. He hoped that the project will have due diligence and a site investigation by the end of the summer. His best guess about construction is that it will take at least a year once the go-ahead is given.
There were no building specs to examine at the “presentation,” nor was there a plan for the parking lot. One person was told that the new building will occupy the same footprint as the current Gladstone’s.
Circling the News asked Tellefsen about the seeming lack of information and he said that the project is still in the planning stages. “We’re looking for input, so we can see what is working and what isn’t and how to address it.”
Tellefsen in a story in the Malibu Times is quoted as saying that Gehry “had never designed a restaurant from the ground up before.”
In an April 2018 story by Laurel Busby (“Gladstone’s Adjusts Menu and Amenities”), “Kuehl expressed clear support for the project, stating ‘This agreement exemplifies the exciting synergy of talent, cultural and culinary work so prevalent in Los Angeles County today.’”
The restaurant is currently run by former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, who chose not to bid on the new facility. He will continue to operate the current restaurant until construction starts.
If you have comments, email them to Kuehl’s District Director Stephanie Cohen Scohen@bos.lacounty.gov.