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The storied Palm restaurant is going to relocate after nearly 40 years in West Hollywood. Bruce Bozzi, executive vp of Palm Restaurant Group, confirms to The Hollywood Reporter that the chophouse’s lease is up and a move is expected in November or December of 2014. Its new home will be in Beverly Hills, says Bozzi, who would not comment on exactly where the new location will be until the papers are signed. Bozzi tells THR, “we are finalizing a deal in a space.”
Developer 9001 Santa Monica Boulevard LLC reportedly is looking to turn The Palm, which opened in 1975, as well as the adjacent parking lot and body shop, into a mixed-use residential/retail project. “As sad as it is to be leaving 9001 [Santa Monica Blvd.] because we have a lot of great memories, the fact that it’s not much of a choice makes it easier,” Bozzi told THR. “But it’s still an emotional choice.”
From Fred Astaire tap dancing on the bar to Evel Knievel parking his motorcycle inside the restaurant, The Palm has been a hotbed of Hollywood legends-in-the-making for many years. In the past year alone, celebrities such as Mel Gibson, Faye Dunaway, Gary Oldman and David Bowie have all dined there, perhaps hoping to join the ranks of famous faces whose caricatures adorn the restaurant walls.
Bozzi (who is a fourth-generation member of The Palm’s co-founding Bozzi family and the longtime partner of CAA head Bryan Lourd) remains upbeat about what the move could mean for business.
“One of the challenges that’s happened in Los Angeles for lunch is the geographics,” he noted. “The traffic has become more of an issue. In the ’80s and ’90s, people would come over from Universal, from the Warners lot. Now even coming from Century City can take you an hour in the middle of the day just to get to Beverly Hills.”
Bozzi added that a more central location also means more foot traffic, as other popular Beverly Hills spots such as e. baldi and Barney Greengrass can attest.
“If anything, it will increase our lunch business,” predicts Bozzi. “Reinvention is a really cool thing.”
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