Proud Bird restaurant at LAX gets 1-year reprieve

The Proud Bird will not close later this month as scheduled. L.A. News Group photo by Steve McCrank.

The Proud Bird will not close later this month as scheduled. L.A. News Group photo by Steve McCrank.

The Proud Bird restaurant at LAX has reached a tentative deal with landlord Los Angeles World Airports to operate for at least one more year, said John Tallichet, president of Specialty Restaurants.

The Proud Bird, an L.A. icon since 1967, has planned to close for good on Dec. 21 due to a rent dispute with L.A. World Airports. The Proud Bird still wants a long-term 20-year-lease, but for now, a year extension is good enough, Tallichet said. Negotiations on a longer deal will continue.

The tentative deal requires approval from the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners Tallichet said. He said that likely will not come until January.

Tallichet plans to announce the deal at 7 p.m. tonight at a public meeting to be held at the Proud Bird.

UPDATE: A L.A. World Airports spokeswoman confirmed the tentative agreement and said, if approved, it will run until Jan. 31, 2015.

SECOND UPDATE: Airport spokeswoman sent over this statement, which suggested that the Proud Bird may have been able to get more reasonable rent by giving up its claims to a  vast parking lot next to the restaurant. Before, the Proud Bird had been renting 8.3 acres. I’d imagine it’s renting less acreage now.

“LAWA staff is very pleased we are able to have an executed Letter of Intent with the owner/operator of The Proud Bird that allows the facility to continue operating until at least January 31, 2015.  A new, short-term lease strikes a balance that allows The Proud Bird to continue operating its restaurant, banquet rooms, exterior aircraft displays and reduced parking area, while allowing LAWA to comply with federal requirements regarding leasing rates for airport property and to embark on a competitive process for a long-term lease of the property.”

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