Palm Restaurant Reopens in Beverly Hills
After a rent increase forced a move, the industry power-lunching spot has a new home on Canon Drive.
After four decades in West Hollywood, the famous Palm Restaurant – beloved by stars and executives alike – has moved to Beverly Hills, opening Friday at 267 N. Canon Dr. "The hand was forced," says the Palm's executive vice president Bruce Bozzi, noting an untenable increase on the restaurant's longtime Santa Monica Blvd. property. "It was time to re-invent."
It's a bittersweet parting. Notes co-owner Wally Ganzi: "There's two palm trees in the parking lot [in West Hollywood]. I think they're about 60 feet tall. I planted those two trees. I'll miss looking at them because it kind of symbolizes the growth of this restaurant."
The West Hollywood location shut down on Sept. 30, and with it went the iconic caricatures of prominent patrons that covered its walls. After four days of sawing, they were cut out and gifted to those regulars – or, if they had passed on, their loved ones. (Two customers received booths.) "With anything, change is never easy, but it's the one thing we can count on in life," observes general manager Tayna Hodge, who notes that the illustrations imbued a sense of history – that "these walls could talk. I mean, 1975: bell bottoms, checkered pants, Corvettes and all that good stuff."
The Beverly Hills outpost is opening its doors with just a few illustrations, including a tableau of pioneering female executives Amy Pascal, Sherry Lansing and the late Sue Mengers posing as Bozzi's Angels. Bozzi notes that, in time, the caricatures will multiply – but he wants it to happen organically. "I want real moments shared on the walls, like the WeHo Palm told a story that was lived over years." Still, he expects close friends (and loyal customers) like Brad Grey and Gwyneth Paltrow to appear soon enough. "I want it to be authentic."