The building that has housed Callahan’s Diner and Vienna Pastry in Santa Monica since 1946 has been sold.
Bob Lynn (LGO Hospitality) and his photographer/painter wife, Sara Abbott, have purchased the property at 1213-1215 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica.
The couple was approached by a local commercial broker because of Lynn’s successful history working with historical landmarks and creating adaptive reuse.
LGO Hospitality owns and operates a wide range of gourmet but casual food related businesses including La Grande Orange Café & The Luggage Room Pizzeria in one of Pasadena’s most important historic buildings – the 1934 Del Mar Train Station.
Lynn worked closely with the City on that project and the restaurants are now used as a model for adaptive reuse.
The effort went on to receive “The Presidents Award” for the preservation and restoration of the Santa Fe Railway Station by the Pasadena Beautiful Foundation.
The Misfit in the 1931 Clock Tower building right down the street was the result of the landlord being a fan and regular customer of the Pasadena project. LGO was offered the space when the previous French restaurant closed.
When buying the building on Wilshire became a reality, the couple said they loved the idea of an opportunity to work on an adaptive reuse walking distance from their home and Sara’s studio. Their plan is to put the building on the historic register thus assuring its “streamline moderne” design a long life.
A statement from LGO Hospitality said the plan was to eventually bring the building mechanicals to code and restore the diner back to its original condition.
“No change in the floor plan will be made,” the statement said. “The menu will be an affordable ‘farm to table’ diner using the Santa Monica farmers market. There will be a discount for seniors as well as a children’s menu. While a liquor license is in the works, no bar will be added nor seating changed. Alcohol will be offered as an accessory to food – hopefully making dinner time business a viable effort.”
LGO Hospitality said valet parking will be an option for people who are not walking from the neighborhood as well as for a safe and convenient pick-up of pastries and cakes from Vienna Pastry, which will remain in their space as a long-term tenant.