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Who Wants to Take Over Rick Bayless's Red O Lease on Melrose for $3 Million?

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Some new lease shenanigans bring up questions about the restaurant's future

Red O on Melrose
Red O on Melrose
Red O
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.

Interested in being a part of the Melrose restaurant community? You could certainly do worse than the 6,000 square foot, 220-seat space that currently houses Red O.

According to Loopnet, the property itself is up for a leasehold interest sale. That means while the current actual owner of the building and the land remains in place, someone else could come in and snag the lease — which runs until February 2019 and comes with three five-year extension options — for a cool $3,000,000.

Now, said owner wouldn’t get the rights to the Red O name and menu (those belong to Mr. Rick Bayless and partners), so they’d have to install a new restaurant inside the space. But still, it seems that for the right price on the open market, anyone can come in and snatch up the gorgeous property themselves, which would put Red O out into the street. Luckily, Bayless and Co. have another location in Santa Monica, plus one in Newport Beach and a yet another planned for La Jolla at some point down the line.

As of now, expect business as usual at Red O Melrose. And if someone does decide to take over the building’s lease, know that it’ll be someone with a big name and bigger wallet. After all, there aren’t many that can stomach the current $31,000 per month rent.

Update: Red O management offers the following:

Our Melrose location has been on the market for lease for over 5 years. We are conducting business as usual and will continue to do so.

Red O

8155 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90048 Visit Website