After 40 years, Marie Callender’s flagship boutique restaurant Callender’s Grill is closing this weekend. The announcement is a sudden one, with a too familiar tale for large and longstanding Los Angeles restaurants: a drastic raise in rent.
A manager confirmed Sunday as the final day of service. The landlord doubled the rent last week, and management made the decision to shutter almost immediately. The restaurant is a deviation from the traditional Marie Callender’s, with menu items that favor popular dishes from the 1990s, but are more forward-thinking than the traditional Callender’s. Callender’s Grill showcased a full cocktail menu, an exclusive California wine selection, a slow-roasted tri-tip Philly melt, and of course an endless displays of pies.
Since the late 1990s, the Orange County-based chain began closing Southern California locations. The company’s 156 stores dwindled down to 19 in the LA basin in the last 20 years. LA’s oldest and large square footage restaurants like Marie Callender’s, Carrow’s, and Spires are on similar paths. Marie Callender’s son, Don, opened the original location on Tustin Street in Orange in 1964.
UPDATE: a statement from the landlord JH Snyder: CompanyCallender’s Grill in Mid-Wilshire did not close due to the landlord doubling its rent. A small 10% increase, the first in 35 years, had been agreed to in a new lease but soon-after Callender’s gave notification that it was closing. The landlord in no way wanted to lose Callender’s and was disappointed in its decision to close.
Callender’s Grill. 5773 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA