Bob Morris--founder and proprietor of Gladstone’s 4 Fish in Pacific Palisades and RJ’s the Rib Joint in Beverly Hills, among other popular local eating places--has a new company, a new partner and plans for several new restaurants.
His original firm, Mor Food ‘N Fun, was purchased in 1983 by the restaurant division of W.R. Grace and was subsequently spun off to become the Restaurant Enterprises Group Inc. Morris continued to run the company when it was a subsidiary of Grace and later a subsidiary of the Restaurant Enterprises Group.
Now, he has joined forces with Richard S. Stevens, former president of the Wrather Corp., which operates the Disneyland Hotel, the Queen Mary and Spruce Goose. With Stevens, Morris has acquired a majority interest in the publicly traded International Home Video Corp., which manufactures microrecords for the Encyclopedia Brittanica Co.; also, they have bought back all but one of Morris’ restaurant enterprises and have formed a new restaurant company, to be run as a subsidiary of International Home Video.
Included in the buy-back deal, besides Gladstone’s and RJ’s, is the site of the old Jetty’s in Pacific Palisades--a Morris property that burned some years ago. He now plans to rebuild it as the Original Jetty’s.
Morris will also retain management responsibilities for two other restaurants that he operates but does not own--Cabo Cabo Cabo in Century City and El Paseo in downtown Los Angeles’ Olvera Street complex. (Another Mor Food ‘N Fun restaurant, the Malibu Sea Lion U.S.A., remains in the Restaurant Enterprises Group stable--"at least for now,” says Morris.)
Also in the works, Morris says, are a management deal for a “surfer bar” and restaurant called the Tides’ Inn, scheduled to open in mid-1990 on the premises of the defunct Sunspot Cafe in Pacific Palisades, and for two new owned-and-operated establishments, one in Marina del Rey and one in Santa Monica. Both are on the sites of existing restaurants, which Morris declines to name.
BEER BUST: Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, who are taking over City of Angels Brewing Company in Santa Monica to turn it into a Border Grill, are selling the Santa Monica establishment’s brewing equipment. They seriously considered keeping it, says Feniger, but local laws prohibit sales of hard alcohol on brewery or winery property--and the pair wanted to be able to serve Margaritas and other cocktails. “Our plans,” says Feniger, “are to completely wipe out any memory of the Brewing Company."WHAT’S COOKING: Wines from Santa Barbara County’s Zaca Mesa Winery will be featured with a three-course Italian dinner at Verdi Ristorante di Musica in Santa Monica Tuesday evening. The cost is $45 per person. . . . Shigeo Torigai of the Restaurant Torigai in Nantes--a protege of Alain Senderens and Michel Guerard, and, according to the Gault-Millau guide, “the incontestable star of our great Japanese chefs"--will cook at the Restaurant Antoine in Le Meridien Hotel in Newport Beach on Wednesday and Thursday. Reservations are essential. . . . A six-course dinner accompanied by the wines of Joseph Phelps Vineyards will be served at the Seventh Street Bistro on Oct. 30, for $85 a head. . . . Next Sunday, the Parkway Grill in Pasadena will present its fifth annual Fall Food & Wine Festival, to benefit Huntington Memorial Hospital’s trauma center and emergency services. More than a dozen other restaurants will join the Parkway in presenting food samples, and the wines of at least 40 producers will be served. Admission is $65 at the door.
RESTAURANT EVENTS: The Gardena Senior Citizens Day Care Center will benefit from today’s seventh annual Fall Festival of Wines at the Torrance Holiday Inn from 4 to 7 p.m. The event, sponsored by the Gardena Valley Chamber of Commerce, will offer wines from more than 35 producers, food from 15 local restaurants and drawings for wine and other prizes. Tickets are $22.50 apiece or eight for $160 in advance, $25 at the door and $15 for senior citizens. . . . The OctoberRibfest ’89 takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in the Jake’s Diner parking lot in Pasadena. Barbecued ribs from several local restaurants and rib joints will be featured, along with at least 25 different beers and assorted German and American food. Tickets are $4 in advance and $5 at the door, with food and beer extra. Proceeds will benefit the Associate Friends of Child Advocates, a volunteer fund-raising group for the Child Advocates Office of Los Angeles Superior Court.