San Pedro’s Ports O’ Call Restaurant received an official eviction notice yesterday, as a Los Angeles Superior Court judge sided with the Port of Los Angeles. The port will remove and demolish the restaurant to continue building a forthcoming waterfront development called the San Pedro Public Market. Locals rallied around the 57-year-old restaurant, in hopes it would remain open until the end of 2018, or even during construction. But as Ports O’ Call failed to vacate the property on the March 1 deadline, the port took the restaurant to court.
As the last standing business in Ports O’ Call Village, Ports O’ Call Restaurant was also the oldest. Other restaurants like Acapulco, The Crusty Crab, and Alaska Seafood left the Village in March as demolition moved forward, while Ports O’ Call Restaurant remained open while surrounded by rubble. The Long Beach Press Telegram reported on Judge Douglas Stern’s ruling late Monday in Long Beach. Demolition is already underway with construction starting in early 2019, and plans to be completed by 2021.
The decision comes as a blow to Ports O’ Call Restaurant owner Jayme Wilson, who booked events beyond the eviction date, and previously claimed the restaurant would be able to remain open during construction. Judge Stern also rejected Wilson’s claim of potential litigation from customers that booked his restaurant beyond the eviction date.
Wilson is said to be in negotiations with San Pedro Public Market developer Wayne Ratkovich, who stated the only tenant with a long-term agreement is the San Pedro Fish Market. Eater was unable to confirm the latter’s tenant status. A Port of Los Angeles attorney estimated the eviction process should take three weeks before demolishing the site. Wilson is expected to appeal.