The Encounter restaurant at the LAX theme building is now closed

The Encounter restaurant atop the LAX theme building closed in December, but likely will reopen under another name soon. Wikimedia Commons photo.

The Encounter restaurant atop the LAX theme building closed in December, but likely will reopen under another name soon. Wikimedia Commons photo.

The Encounter restaurant atop the iconic theme building at Los Angeles International Airport closed at the end of December when the operator’s lease ended, airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said.

The theme building in the center of the terminals was built in 1961 and is perhaps the most recognizable part of LAX. It was seismically retrofitted in 2010, but is essentially unchanged from when it was built.

It’s worth noting that there isn’t that much historical significance to the Encounter restaurant itself, which was operated by Delaware North and opened in 1997. Apparently, the space was renovated by Delaware North to appear futuristic, but in recent years, it has just looked dated. It needed an update.

Eventually, Castles said, a new operator likely will take over the space. I’m going to try to learn what the plans for the future are in the coming days.

UPDATE: At 8 p.m. Monday, Castles sent over this statement:

 “Delaware North Corporation, operator of the Encounter Restaurant, notified us several weeks ago that they decided not to continue operation of the restaurant.  We are discussing operating concepts and options with several other concessionaires.”

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  • BCTBC

    Terrible restaurant.. with the out dated decor it was bound to close. Completely surprised it lasted as long as it did

  • Vieux_Foque

    Fantastic place. Went there several times and took people with me several times. Everybody liked the humor in the faux 50s-60s design theme. View was spectacular. Food was good too. Sorry to see it close.

  • bigguyinpasadena

    This is AFTER millions wasted on refurbishment! Everyone working for LaWa should be fired! This is a totally dysfunctional organization that works by cronyism. The complex should be torn to the ground and an outside management team brought in. LAX is a disgraceful embarrassment to travelers and locals alike.

  • Jonathan Muralles

    great place it was the best way to get away from all the chaos inside the airport and if you was driving back home it was the best place to relax and stay away from the traffic Jam freeways