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Newport Seafood San Gabriel Location Closing?

According to the grapevine, the Las Tunas Dr. branch of Newport Seafood will be closing when its current lease expires. Supposedly the landlord asked for a substantial rent increase to share in the extreme popularity of this restaurant and the owners declined. If this is true there are significant implications. This would make the upcoming opening of Newport Seafood on La Cienega's restaurant row not merely a westside branch, but rather its flagship location. As such the feared dumbing down of the menu might not occur. And might we achieve the holy grail of westside Chinese dining, i.e., SGVers coming west for Chinese food?

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  1. Time to move to an even bigger location in the same vicinity. Patrons will just follow.

    1. If they wanna keep the sgv hordes, they'll stick around

      1. Greedy landlords have been the demise of many an eatery.

        4 Replies
        1. re: J.L.

          Greedy landlords can and do kill lots of businesses, but restaurants are especially vulnerable. Har Lam Kee on Garvey was a big favorite of ours, and I was trying to make a date for there with the rest of our posse when I learned that the next day would be their last. I haven't been by there lately, but if it's boarded up I'm gonna gloat a little.

          1. re: Will Owen

            Why assume the landlord is the *greedy* party?

            Maybe the tenant is the greedy party.

            1. re: Will Owen

              except Har Lam Kee is open again.

              1. re: TonyC

                Oh!! Good to know!

                ipse, if real estate values are going up it's most likely that the landlord will decide the rents must do the same. The restaurant owner – I'd think especially in the SGV, where unfortunately we eaters have gotten so used to $10-per-head dinner tabs it's a wonder anyone makes any money – is already on very thin ice. Arguments about whether we're ready to pay the price to start giving the kitchen staff something resembling a living wage are something we can't really address here – you should ask Tony Bourdain about this if you want an earful – but as greedy as the restaurant owner might be he's being asked to choose between losing his profits or losing his customers, who must also be considered a part of the equation.

          2. Love it!

            Lease negotiations via Chowhound discussion boards.

            1. Why wouldn't they just move to another spot in the SGV?

              16 Replies
              1. re: ns1

                One person owns all the real estate in SGV.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Hmmm that makes me speculate but I won't say publicly for fear I may be right. Time to keep it to myself.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        So many people live in fear of he-who-cannot-be-named...

                        An yet, he looks so innocuous on the Monopoply box.

                    1. re: ns1

                      I wonder what their options are? They obviously need a space at least as large as their current location. Most patrons would prefer a larger location.

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        Physical space isn't the issue.

                        It's feng shui.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            What's Chinese gambling games got to do with anything?

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Quoting (roughly) from "Naked Gun":

                              "Are you a gambling man, Mr. Drebin?"

                              "Every time I order out..."

                          2. re: bulavinaka

                            I think physical space is AN important consideration, if not the most important. Their old space in that square with Golden Deli had us tangling elbows with the surrounding tables, and an ungodly mess on the table by halfway through dinner. The current one was a big improvement, especially with the multiple dining areas, but they could still stand to go bigger if possible.

                            1. re: Will Owen

                              They moved from their golden deli plaza location? Man I'm behind.

                              1. re: ns1

                                About three or four years behind. They moved just a few blocks east to a freestanding building on the south side of the street, with plenty of parking they don't share with anyone.

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  They actually instituted valet parking.

                        1. Wow this is interesting...

                          1. No relation but noting the Newport tan cang in Santa Ana still firing away awesome lobsters too. This is my favorite of the wu tang cang clan with some more Vietnamese influence possibly.

                            6 Replies
                                  1. re: J.L.

                                    Maybe a new shunji photo review is what is needed to lure him back?

                                    1. re: jessejames

                                      But that photo must be BFE (beyond f*in' exceptional).

                                      1. re: J.L.

                                        You're the man for the job! You and shunji-san!

                            1. we certainly won't be heading west. Stopped going to Newport as Tan Hai/Newbay on Valley has been more than adequate substitute for lobster fix.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: hppzz

                                Add to this is the newbie Boston Lobster if any hound has tried to compare

                                1. re: selfportrait93

                                  I treated my staff to dinner there, table of 11 and spent $260 tax included but before tip.

                                  We got:
                                  2 lobsters (5-6 pounders each)
                                  shaking beef
                                  fried pork chops
                                  honey walnut shrimp
                                  crab fish maw soup
                                  sauteed pea shoots

                                  We left really stuffed and I felt the lobster tasted better than Newport and was a better value (I remember spending $120 on just one tiny lobster at Newport).

                              2. Fascinating.

                                Wouldn't it be interesting if Newport Seafood changed plans and opened up on Camden between Mr. Chow and Crustacean?

                                Mr Taster

                                1 Reply
                                1. can this location be considered for the unlucky list too?

                                  i wouldn't mind if they bumped up the tastes at their rh location. it's not as good. and i'll never go back to santa ana's location (horrible food)

                                  1. I went to lunch there today - with two friends. The server did not know anything about them moving!

                                    1. Why would SGVers drive to Bev Hills for lobster when it can be had for cheaper and better at Boston Lobster?

                                      Any people from the SGV driving to B.Hills for Newport are going because they would likely be rich mainlanders who want to have "face" by eating in an expensive Chinese resto.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Johnny L

                                        It's a chi chi fancy experience that rich folks did drive out for when I was there. Whole banquet table of 30 or so on patio.

                                      2. I hear they're still in negotiations and are trying to work out something.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: TripleAxel

                                          Presumably the Chinese restaurant leasing equivalent of playing "chicken".

                                        2. This is not true. I personally know the owners of the property and business. They are basically one and the same. Within the same family. Rent is being increased but they are not leaving.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Htiet

                                            They are basically one and the same. Within the same family.
                                            _________________

                                            Certainly makes for interesting conversation at the dinner table during the Autumn Moon Festival feast.

                                            1. re: Htiet

                                              Thank you.

                                              Now, about Chuan's: I hear a Politburo standing committee member from Chengdu will be on hand for the grand opening.

                                              (This is how SGV rumors are started: on a Chow thread).