Royal Hawaiian Closes Its Doors :-(

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On Saturday, Laguna Beach said goodbye to a landmark restaurant. In business for 65 years, the Royal Hawaiian served pupu platters and pina coladas since 1947.

Chef James Harris, previously a sous chef at French 75, took the helm in February of last year.

A Cordon Bleu graduate, Harris launched a weekend brunch and Taco Tuesday that summer to drum up additional business to the establishment. Yet it wasn't enough to maintain the high cost of rent along Pacific Coast Highway. His most recent claim to fame was as defending champion of the Sunday Night Chef Fights. We recommend chef showing off his skills in a few pop-up dinners (we hear Nieuport 17 has space) before landing his next gig.

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Location Info

The Royal Hawaiian - CLOSED

331 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA

Category: Restaurant


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2 comments
garry sills
garry sills

It was a combination of the poor economy, severely high rent, and an over reacting liberal city planning commission and council , responding to 1 resident complaining. Doug Cole invested millions of dollars trying to keep the Royal Hawaiian open after taking over in 2006. The building was collapsing structurally and needed complete rebuilding. He was losing 25k a month out of his pocket, and restricting the hours that music could be played, was just another nail in the coffin. 1 person should not dictate policy for the whole city. And when that one person has friends on the City Council and planning commission, the restaurant didn't stand a chance of surviving. The issue of noise, were based on a city standard of 55dba, and the Royal Hawaiian had a couple of readings of 59dba, and thus were on the chopping block by this very liberal city. See list of dba ratings below:10db normal breathing

20db mosquito, rustling leaves

30db whisper

40db stream, refrigerator humming

50-60db normal conversation, laughter, quiet office.

70db hair dryer, vacuum cleaner

75db dishwasher

80db garbage disposal, city traffic

85-90db lawnmower,diesel truck at over 40mph

100db train, garbage truck

110db drill, power saw, jet flyover

120db thunderclap, dance clubs, stereos

130db jet takeoff, shotgun firing

110-140db rock concert

145db boom bass cars

As you can see, 59 dba falls under normal conversation, laughter, and a quiet office. So where in the Hell does the City come up with a commercial sound standard of 55dba. Traffic is louder than that, the crashing waves of the ocean, is louder than that. So what the city is saying is, they are not interested in having businesses that bring revenue into the city. The city is responsible for the loss of 30 jobs at the Royal Hawaiian, and the closing of a City landmark. This economy is in the dumps nation wide and even more in California, due to the failed policies of a Socialist Government. Your vote counts! Clean house in November! Take our Country back!

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