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County moves forward with Frank Gehry-designed beachfront restaurant

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It would replace the venerable Gladstone’s restaurant at Will Rogers Beach

Rendering of Frank Gehry beach restaurant
The restaurant would include dining space, a rooftop bar, and space for an ice cream store.
Courtesy Sheila Kuehl

Frank Gehry may soon have yet another Los Angeles project on his hands.

The legendary architect has been busy lately, with commissions for everything from hotels to music schools to the entire LA River. Now, the county Board of Supervisors has agreed to begin negotiations with a firm planning to replace Pacific Palisades restaurant Gladstone’s Malibu with a new dining establishment designed by Gehry.

Officials have been pushing for redevelopment of the 2.8-acre parcel of county-owned land at Will Rogers Beach since at least 2016. In a motion initiating the search for a new tenant to take over the site’s lease, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl called the restaurant “seriously deteriorated and outdated.”

Now, staffers will enter into exclusive negotiations with a company called PCH Beach Associates, LLC, which has also brought on celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck to oversee the dining experience at the new restaurant.

Preliminary plans indicate that the eatery would include “casual dining” space, a lounge, a rooftop bar, a deck, and space for smaller shops and an ice cream vendor. There would also be a “monument” paying tribute to Gladstone’s, which has occupied the site for nearly 50 years.

Redevelopment won’t begin right away; Gladstone’s is still on a short-term lease, which the county will be able to terminate after November 1, 2019. After that, officials will be able to grant the new tenants a rare 50-year lease secured through state legislation.

In a statement, Kuehl predicted the new venue would become a “world-class, must-see, must-eat dining destination.” Early renderings of the project show it would have a whimsical, asymmetrical design with walls of glass overlooking the beach and a trio of blocky turrets rising from the main structure.

Model of Frank Gehry restaurant at Will Rogers Beach Via Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Sketch of restaurant by Frank Gehry
A preliminary sketch of the new restaurant was included in a presentation to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
Via Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors