Is it possible to save the Proud Bird restaurant?

Is a deal in the works to save the Proud Bird restaurant?

John Tallichet, the restaurant’s CEO, said it’s at least possible that the restaurant will not close on Nov. 21, as scheduled. The Proud Bird, around for roughly five decades, is in a rent dispute with its landlord, Los Angeles International Airport. Tallichet said the airport — or more specifically its operator, Los Angeles World Airports — wants to substantially raise the rent before it will grant the Proud Bird a new lease. Tallichet said the restaurant can’t afford the increase.

“Many of my employees are attending the LAWA Commission Meeting on Thursday (Nov. 14),”  Tallichet wrote in an email. “We hope that will impact the airport’s approach to extending the lease.  If it does, I don’t expect to hear from LAWA staff until late next week.  I expect to close the restaurant on the 21st, but the overall closure may be averted if LAWA presents a new lease.  I am hopeful.”

Want to support the Proud Bird? The meeting is today (Nov. 14) at 1 p.m. in the airport’s Central Administration at 1 World Way in Los Angeles. Short public comments before the board will be accepted.

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Supporters of Proud Bird restaurant plan to attend Thursday’s LAX commission meeting

The Proud Bird at Los Angeles International Airport plans to close on Nov. 21. Staff photo by Scott Varley.

The Proud Bird at Los Angeles International Airport plans to close on Nov. 21. Staff photo by Scott Varley.

Want to save the Proud Bird restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport?

Thursday is your chance to make yourself heard.

The restaurant is asking community members to attend the special meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners to lobby on behalf of keeping the Proud Bird open. In September, the Proud Bird — which has been around for almost five decades — announced it would close on Nov. 21 due to a rent dispute with Los Angeles World Airports, which operates LAX.

The Proud Bird is located on airport property just east of Runways 25R and 25L, but according to airport officials, it has been paying below market rent for years.

Airport officials tell me they’re required to charge “market rent” to all tenants, and they’ve been adamant they can’t give the Proud Bird a sweetheart deal to stay. But the restaurant’s supporters are still going to try to lobby the airport board.

Here’s the flyer that’s being circulated:

Proud Bird

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Proud Bird restaurant at LAX plans to close in November

The aviation-themed Proud Bird restaurant, a fixture of Los Angeles International Airport for five decades, plans to close in November, officials told me today.

It sounds like the price of the restaurant’s lease has been an issue. Airport officials told me the city charter precludes them from offering any tenant a long-term lease below market value.

Read my full story on our main website.

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