Topic of the Week: The Proud Bird

In just over a month, on November 21, one of the best eating/spotting locations in the world will close. The Proud Bird at LAX shuts its doors that day. It sits on airport property and the airport decided to raise rent by more than 130 percent over what it pays today. They say that’s market rent, but with the restaurant closing, I can’t imagine they’ll have a new tenant anytime in the remotely near future.

I grew up going to The Proud Bird and we have our annual Cranky Concierge dinners there now. If you’ve been, share your memories here. If you haven’t, see if you can sneak in before the closing date.

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23 Comments on "Topic of the Week: The Proud Bird"

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Carlos
Guest

Im surprised you haven’t mentionned Alitalia at all recently.

Ben G
Guest

As an East Coaster, I’ve never been. However next weekend I’ll be making my first trip to LA in many years and will be going for sure.

George
Guest

Great location, good service, good food. I’m with you Cranky, who’s going in there with the rent so high-I would think better to have a stable tenent with a stable source of income. Next question-what happens to the airplanes?-Maybe Planes of Fame will take them?

DesertGhost
Guest

That’s too bad. Which reminds me, I haven’t been to The Left Seat here in Phoenix for a while. I need to get there.

Steven
Guest

Hey, off topic but I just ran into this article. Has anyone else seen it yet?

http://voices.yahoo.com/turtleology-101-travel-witout-any-bags-12069586.html?cat=16

MeanMeosh
Guest

Well – I’m flying through LAX the second weekend in November, and coincidentally, our flight lands right at lunchtime. Methinks a lunch stop is in order.

j.monat
Member

It will be a sad day in November when The Proud Bird closes. I especially enjoyed the view and listening to ATC. The food is pretty good, too. If LAX can keep the original terminal functional, why not cut a deal with TPB.

DesertGhost
Guest

Because that would make sense? LOL!

Steve
Guest

A few of us went to the Proud Bird for brunch the day after the Pan Am 747 event last month. It was an great morning of plane spotting and reminiscing, and an excellent cap to a fantastic Cranky weekend.

cargoman
Member

What a shame! The whole 20+ years I was in the airline biz at LAX The Proud Bird was a fixture there. I once took the owner of the airline I worked for, his co-pilot and the company attorney there for dinner. The LOVED the place and were in heaven with all the photos all over the place. The sad end to another era.

Consumer Mike
Guest
It is a sad day when ill advised decisions force another “shutdown” of a good thing. Where do they get these idiots who decide on such matters? Who are they?? Now, instead of generating jobs and revenue LAX will have a negative cash flow for the property for what will probably be a VERY long period of time. ONT has the right videa in distancing themselves from the politics and dumbing down of LAX. This event is more proof that LAX administration and planning is broken. My pet peeve with LAX/City of LA planning and administration is why don’t they… Read more »
Levi
Guest
I would be interested in seeing how LAWA determined the market rate. Even if LAWA wants the restaurant to stay open, they cannot charge below market rents for non-aeronautical. When an airport takes grants from the FAA to build infrastructure, they have to sign their life away to grant assurances. http://www.faa.gov/airports/aip/grant_assurances/ The restaurant might have a aviation theme, however, it is not an aeronautical user. The airport can not charge below fair market value. If they did, the airport risks paying back their grants to the FAA and all future grants for expansion. It is sad to see them go,… Read more »
David M
Guest

Metro service to LAX is on the drawing board. Brian Sumers had an article about one option a couple of days ago:

http://www.dailybreeze.com/general-news/20131009/lax-officials-outline-possible-on-airport-transportation-center

This would put a metro/bus station about a mile from the terminal complex, which would provide baggage check facilities and an automated people mover to take passengers to the terminals. This would put LAX on par with what Phoenix Sky Harbor offers.

Brian Sumers
Guest
Thanks for the link to my story, Brett. You are right about the question of what market rent is. Airport officials say they have to charge “market rent” similar to what would be charged for “aeronautical property.” Of course, there’s no indication that the space will be rented at any time in the future for aviation purposes because of where it is. It’s likely to be empty. There is some question also about the financial health of the restaurant even under the current rent. Some have suggested the Proud Bird wasn’t making money even under the current arrangement. I don’t… Read more »
Consumer Mike
Guest

According to your article, the owner indicates that the lack of facility improvements and long tem agreement is impacting their bottom line. Without cooperation from the City of LA/LAX there is no future for the Proud Bird.

David M
Guest

Which pretty much pulls everything together. The facility needs renovation, but can’t invest in renovations while on a month-to-month lease. LAWA can’t sign a new long term lease at the restaurant’s current rent; it has to charge “market rent”. Which Proud Bird can’t afford.

kelty
Member

Maybe the Proud Bird could relocate to one of the smaller area airports. They might have a bigger presence there than at LAX.

“Proud Bird” also reminds me of Continental’s slogan: “The Proud Bird with the Golden Tail.”

jskyz81
Member

I don’t know but this i just a though, but perhaps the proud bird could move to Las Vegas McCarran International. :-)

jskyz81
Member

Well this is just a though, but perhaps if maybe the proud bird could move to Las Vegas McCarran International and I could have a nicer Vegas touch perhaps. :-)

jskyz81
Member

oops!!! I ment to say “it” could have a nicer Vegas touch not “I” :-)

hsano
Member

In the thirty years I’ve lived in the LA area, and all the times I’ve flow in in/out of LAX, I’ve never been inside The Proud Bird. I’ll have to make a trip soon!

This must be the week for landmark restaurant closures. I just found out that The Hilltop Steakhouse in Saugus, MA (just north of Boston’s Logan airport) is closing soon.

Gary
Guest

I took my wife there on our first dinner together. That was 43 years ago. I was a Capt. for Western Airlines. She became a flight attendant for Western. I had to retire at age 60 but she is still flying and we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary. We might fly over to L.A. for one last dinner at the Proud Bird.

JM
Guest
I have family in LA and always enjoyed eating at The Proud Bird with my dad and cousin when in Los Angeles. We are all aviation fans and my cousin, an LA native, often took clients there when he lived in Los Angeles back in the 1970s. Seeing planes from all over the world land right outside the window is just so cool! My memories of it are especially vivid from the early 2000s. We went to The Proud Bird often because we were in Los Angeles quite a lot visiting my aunt, who was then battling cancer. To my… Read more »
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