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44 Year Old Gladstone's Malibu Set to Close October 2017

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A new lease proposal would demolish the restaurant in favor of a different long-term tenant

Gladstone's, Malibu
Gladstone's, Malibu
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Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Is this the end of Gladstone’s in Malibu? It very much looks like it, as the Daily Breeze is reporting that Los Angeles County seems ready to flip the iconic restaurant property to a new owner with a secured long-term lease.

The news comes as quite a shock to many in the Malibu and Santa Monica areas, as Gladstone’s has been an extremely popular sunset and dinner destination since 1972. Recently though, LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl called the property "seriously deteriorated and outdated" as part of a motion in front of the Board of Supervisors.

In essence, Kuehl and others would like to see the lease on the property extended to a full 40 years (currently it’s only allowed to run for 20 years), which they believe would lure in a new restaurant that would build from scratch on the site. The long-term lease would hopefully make such a build more stable and viable for whichever company steps up to the challenge.

Both Gladstone's and LA County want to move on

According to the Daily Breeze, both the Gladstone’s side and the county’s Department of Beaches and Harbors are keen to move on from their long-running agreement by fall of next year, which means come October 2017 it’s likely that the Gladstone’s you know and love will be no more. It’s not clear who exactly would step up to build and operate a new restaurant on site, though certainly a 40 year guarantee will help to draw some attention to the matter. For now, the proposal to extend the lease terms is winding its way through the county legislative system.

Update: A spokesperson for the County of Los Angeles clarifies via email that "The County is obligated to allow an open, competitive opportunity for a new lease. ANY operator — including the Gladstone's group — may compete for the new lease." They also note that "The County had worked with Gladstone’s to assure that it may remain in business throughout this process, despite the eatery’s declining revenue."

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