Monday, August 14, 2006

News 'o the day: Surfas to close?, and more

Surfas to close?
Could it be true that the beloved cookware supply and recently opened cafe at Surfas could be closing less than a year after it opened its sparkling new location? We would hate to lose those grilled cheese and fig sandwiches and lavender lemon bars, but apparently clunky warehouses are not cool enough for Culver City's rapidly gentifying downtown. Owner Les Surfas, whose father started the company in 1937, has refused to accept Culver City's offer to buy the Surfas warehouse through eminent domain for a large redevelopment project. Surfas contends that even if his retail outlet remains, he can't afford to run the business without the warehouse right around the corner. He lays out his case in a long Q & A on Culver City blog thefrontpageonline.com, and it looks like there could be another side to the story. Either way, it would be a sad day for the cooks and eaters of Los Angeles to lose the Beluga lentils, artisanal olive oil and bizarre kitchen gadgets that attract chefs from far afield.

Moving into the House: Apparently "upscale diner" wasn't the right concept when Scooter Kanfer owned The House on Melrose, because it didn't last all that long. Now Jay Fagnano, who used to own Tahiti on Third (before it was Yi), is opening Jay's Larchmont Grill in the cozy bungalow space. Jay's will open for lunch Aug. 21 and for dinner Sept. 5.

Bel Age Blowout: Superstar British chef Gordon Ramsay will be behind two new restaurants in the restyled Bel Age Hotel. The hotel had a killer Strip-adjacent location and a swank rooftop pool, but its haute Russian restaurant and busy bar mitzvah business wasn't exactly cutting edge. The hotel will reopen as The London in late 2007.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

NOOOO! Please don't go, Surfas! Enjoyed this place for years--nice cheese tastings on the weekends as well. Hope it gets worked out.

Tokyoastrogirl said...

NO:( Say it ain't so:(:(

Surfas has the best sandwiches in town, not to mention everything else in the store itself. Don't go down without a fight!

Anonymous said...

Over at Chowhound someone posted, claiming to have talked to the owner, with the news that any closing of the Culver locationis a few years off, after court fights and finding a place to relocate.

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/70564

Surfas said...

Hi,
We hope to have some time before we have to make any decisions. Right now, we are waiting for Culver City to give us a time frame and if this is anything like other City projects, it may take up to a year or even longer. Surfas has no intention of going out of business and we will not be cutting back in any phase of our operation including the web , commercial design and installation of industrial kitchens, food development and equipment supply, store presence etc..

Our company is strong and will continue on the same growth pattern we have always set. We have been in several different locations over the (almost) 70 years since we opened the doors in 1937. All changes in our past have been exciting and this one will be too. You will find the only difference may be that we will be located at another address perhaps next year or in 2008. If Culver City doesn't want us, another city will. As soon as we have more information, we will post it on our website.

Thank you for your interest.

michele said...

Surfas closing?!? Sweet fancy Jesus, NOOOO!!!

Pirikara said...

Surfas is one of the few things that has kept me from going crazy living in Palms. I am deeply saddened by the news.

SaveOurSurfas said...

Mr. Surfas, if you're reading this, the City of Torrance would love to see you relocate here!

Jay said...

Hi, it's Jay here with two quick corrections. I did take over the old House space, made some minor changes to the place and I opened this week for lunch. The restaurant is called Larchmont Grill (no Jay in the name). Also, I was never involved with Tahiti restaurant, I was the original owner, along with Karen Salk, of Indigo on Third Street. We're open for lunch for the next week and a half, and plan to open for dinner right after Labor Day.

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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