June 12, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Good Taste Santa Monica: The Georgian – Steeped in History, Poised for Further Refinement

By Barbara Bishop

I love a place with an interesting history. And, I love a good meal. I put them together perfectly this past week, by lunching on the beautiful Veranda at The Georgian Hotel. The well-preserved, Santa Monica Landmark is close to 90 years old, and as I walk in, I feel like I am on the set of a glamorous, romantic movie from right out of the 1930s. A golden, winding staircase ahead of me, a seaside Art Deco-style sitting room to my left, and an intimate dining area and bar to my right. I feel as if I need to be wearing a soft, flowing light blue dress, with a stylish hat and gloves. The Georgian whispers of a refined, classic icon that I would have loved to be part of in its historic heyday. news-georgian111816

“Can I help you?” asks the hostess. I wake from my daydream and am led to a charming table on the veranda for my lunch. The outside has as much character as the inside. Overlooking the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean just across Ocean Avenue, I smell the sea breezes and hear and watch the seagulls soaring above me. Why have I never been here before?

According to santamonicalandmarks.com, The Georgian Hotel was built the early 1930s as a seaside hideaway, nestled in the once-heavily-wooded shoreline of the then-little-known seaside community of Santa Monica. In 1933, The Georgian opened its doors during prohibition and was one of L.A.’s first speakeasies, catering to the rich famous and infamous.

It became a rendezvous spot for the era’s Hollywood elite, including lovers Clark Gable and Carol Lombard. Infamous gangster Bugsy Siegel and comedian Fatty Arbuckle sipped martinis and enjoyed jazz music on the veranda.

And according to legend, The Georgian continues to play host to a number of unearthly guests (aka ghosts.) Both staff and guests have reported loud sighs, gasps, or a voice who greets them with “Good Morning,” when no one is in the room. At other times, the sounds of running footsteps have been heard when no one was there and a number of transparent apparitions have been seen. Cool.

The hotel was refurbished in the 1950s, the 1960s, and then in the early 2000s a $2-million renovation was completed. Now, according to the property’s gracious GM, Juan Viramontes, the hotel is about to undergo a stunning renovation of the lobby and restaurant, creating additional space for dining and cocktails for hotel guests, visitors and Santa Monica locals.

Viramontes assures me that the hotel will remain open during the entire process, with no interruption in service. Construction will be complete in early 2017. And that’s not all. Viramontes recently retained long-time restaurateur Rapheal Lunetta (Jiraffe) to consult with him on the property’s food and beverage program. Rumor has it that Lunetta plans to bring back the speakeasy that was so popular in the 1930s. Guess what he’s going to name it? We’ll hear more about this in next year

Oh – and Fatty Arbuckle, if you’re one of those “guest ghosts,” good for you. If I was a ghost, I would make The Georgian Hotel my home too!

The Georgian Hotel is located at 1415 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. Head to georgianhotel.com for more.

 

Related Posts

Martin Cadillac Redevelopment Takes Shape on Olympic Near Bundy

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

West Edge development underway near Expo/Bundy station By Sam Catanzaro Wood and concrete framing is now visible at the Martin...

Sheriff Villanueva Announces Plan to Clear Encampments by July 4th

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

LASD Homeless Outreach Services Team visits Venice Boardwalk Tuesday By Sam Catanzaro Deputies were on the Venice Beach Boardwalk Tuesday...

In-Person Events Are Back with Summer Swing Nights: Jazzy Vocals plus Live Big Band – Now with Tap Dance, Swing Lessons, Vendors to Benefit Museum

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

Live, in-person entertainment is bringing out happy fans of all ages for Summer Swing Nights: Drive-In Edition. The concert fundraiser features the...

Annenberg Beach House Set for Reopening

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

Community beach house begins reopening June 15 for splash pad, stand up paddle and courtyard The Annenberg Community Beach House...

Letters to Editor: Main Street Closures

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

The following are two letters sent to the Santa Monica Mirror, one in support and one in opposition, regarding a...

Man Attempts to Cut Throat at St. Monica’s Coffee Shop

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Victim in stable condition following Monday morning incident By Sam Catanzaro A man is in stable condition after cutting himself...

Will Parking Structure #3 Be Demolished? Santa Monica Beat – June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Will Parking Structure #3 Be Demolished? * Police Make Two Arrests...

Santa Monica City Council to Consider Main Street Traffic Closure

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

City staff recommending closure of the roughly 1,000 feet between Hill Street and Kinney Avenue  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica...

Artists Featured For SaMo Pride Rainbow Road Art Walk

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

In honor of Pride month Santa Monica Pride (SaMo Pride) is featuring a Rainbow Road Art Walk from June 4th-...

Santa Monica Affordable Housing Development Takes Shape

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

Pacific Landing apartments underway at Lincoln and Pacific  By Sam Catanzaro A $28 million affordable housing development is taking shape...