March 1, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Rusty’s Surf Ranch Secures 10-Year Lease Extension At Santa Monica Pier:

Burgers and sandwiches or a gastro-bistro themed menu designed by a Top Chef master – what will be versus what could have been at one of the most popular locations on the Santa Monica pier.

Council members last week approved a 10-year lease extension for Rusty’s Surf Ranch, ensuring the pier mainstay will remain at the tourist destination for another decade serving its daily fare of burgers, sandwiches, soups, and salads.

The other option: allow a restaurant operator with eateries in Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, and Studio City replace Rusty’s with a new dining experience, complete with live entertainment, a sports bar, and a menu created by Top Chef’s Antonia Lofaso.

Instead, the council opted to preserve a little slice of Santa Monica history and allow Rusty’s to remain until at least 2024. Under the provisions of the renewed lease, there is a five-year renewal option that may allow Rusty’s to remain until 2029.

The popular pier eatery, which occupies more than 4,300 square feet of the Billiards Building, was established in 1994 and is on the verge of completing a 20-year lease. That lease was set to expire Sept. 30, 2014.

Interestingly enough, the expiration of the lease in 2014 does not necessarily open up the possibility of extension or renewal.

According to City staff: “Under the Leasing Guidelines, lease renewals or options to extend the terms of occupancy are not offered to existing tenants upon expiration of agreements.”

“If Rusty’s was selected following a competitive public process, a new lease would be negotiated. If not selected, Rusty’s agreed to consent to an early termination of its lease,” City staff continued.

Indeed, Rusty’s was one of eight applicants to submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) prior to the October 2011 deadline; the competition was whittled down to two – Rusty’s and an unnamed restaurant to be operated by The Quintessential Group.

The RFP required that the applicants demonstrate “the preferred use for the leasehold was for a lunch and dinner restaurant with alcohol service, evening music, and entertainment” and “that the proposed exterior and interior presentation of the space should contribute to the Pier’s festive ambience and vitality, enhance the current offerings available on the Pier and appeal to both visitors and locals.”

Rusty’s agreed to pay a base rent of $200,000 per year, or $16,666 per month. That amount gave Rusty’s the edge over The Quintessential Group, which was willing to pay a base rent of $138,144 per year, or $11,512 per month.

Even more, Rusty’s agreed to pay six percent of gross revenues calculated after its breaking even point of $2.3 million in excess of base rent. The Quintessential Group had yet to negotiate the percentage rent amount.

In terms of investments, Rusty’s stated in its RFP it anticipates spending $500,000 in minimum capital improvements. Conversely, The Quintessential Group planned to spend $800,000 in minimum capital improvements, with that planned investment topping $1 million if the restaurant operator were allowed to build a rooftop patio.

If The Quintessential Group were permitted to take over in place of Rusty’s, it would have agreed to a 10-year lease with two five-year options and have architect Gino Piano, who designed the Shores Hotel on Lake Geneva northwest of Chicago, oversee the design of the new restaurant.

According to City staff, both restaurant operators had deal breakers that would have allowed them to walk away from any agreement. Rusty’s would not agree to a $200,000 base rent if it were not allowed to construct second floor seating, while The Quintessential Group stated it would walk away from any deal if it failed to secure a Conditional Use Permit to sell alcohol for an onsite bar or nightclub.

Rusty’s general manager and CEO is Russell “Rusty” Barnard.

The Quintessential Group, which is run by managing partners Mario Guddemi and Salvatore Aurora, also owns The Happy Ending Bar in Hollywood, Local Peasant in Sherman Oaks, and Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City.

Located in the Billiards Building at 256 Santa Monica Pier, Rusty’s also shares space with the Santa Monica Seafood Company and Al Mare, a new eatery that is currently under construction and plans to open in the fall.

in News
Related Posts

Video: Closing Down Westside Oil Field?

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Officials are discussing closing a Westside oil field sitting on hundreds of acres of prime coastal land. Learn more in...

Pico Neighborhood Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Over 70 units of affordable housing come to area near Woodlawn Cemetery By Sam Catanzaro A 70-unit-plus affordable housing development...

Large Properties Drive-up Santa Monica Home Sales Amid Pandemic

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Annual report shows single-family home sales rising By Sam Catanzaro Interest in large properties with five-bedrooms or more helped drive-up...

Santa Monica Police Arrest Parolee for Setting Stolen Car on Fire

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

Alex Omar Aguirre arrested by Santa Monica Police Department By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica resident this week watched as...

Video: Closing Streets to Allow for More Outdoor Dining?

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

A drunk driver recently crashed into a Santa Monica outdoor dining area, bringing attention to a proposal that would close...

Dozens of Santa Monica Restaurants to Participate in dineL.A.

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

First ‘spring’ season of culinary event to begin first week in March By Kerry Slater Dozens of Santa Monica restaurants...

Video: Free LA Metro Rides Could Begin Soon

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

LA Metro could begin offering fare-less rides as early as next year as part of a $300+ million program. Learn...

Danny Trejo’s Tacos Coming to Santa Monica

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

Popular restaurant owned by legendary actor coming near Promenade By Kerry Slater Legendary actor Danny Trejo is bringing his popular...

Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – February, 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica * Santa Monica Animal Shelter...

Santa Monica Convicted Felon Indicted for Multiple Firearms Charges After Shooting into Neighbor’s Yard

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Jason Walsh faces federal prison time for January 9 incident By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica man previously convicted for...

Westside Hotel to Homeless Shelter Sparks Debate

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

A proposal to convert a Westside hotel into a homeless shelter has sparked a debate. Learn more in this video...

Housing Backers Start Facing Post-Pandemic Reality

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

By Tom Elias, Columnist The mysterious blindness that apparently affected California’s top legislative housing advocates all through 2020 seems to...

Santa Monica Awarded Over $5 Million for Affordable Housing Production

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

The California Department of Housing and Community Development has announced two awards to the City of Santa Monica for future...

Asian Woman in Brentwood Verbally Assaulted in Racially Motivated Attack

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

While walking near the intersection of Bundy and Montana an Asian woman was verbally assaulted by a man walking his...