There was square-dancing in the parking lot, free champagne and a crowd of about 400 last week as the new George Petrelli Steakhouse celebrated its grand opening--just across the street from where Petrelli’s uncle Joe founded the restaurant more than 50 years ago.
City officials closed off Sepulveda Boulevard in front of the restaurant, allowing George Petrelli to make his way across the street with tears in his eyes.
“I couldn’t help it,” he said later. “It was very emotional.”
Petrelli made the move to save his business. The Culver City Redevelopment Agency had targeted his block for the development of a Circuit City, an Office Depot and a car dealership. Demolition of the previous building has begun.
“I have to turn around. I can’t look at it,” he said.
Although Petrelli is still adjusting to his new digs, his customers seem to have settled in. Customers who call the restaurant with questions now are reminded that they need reservations to get a table.
On his first night in the new location, Petrelli said, he served 600 dinners.
“I think they’ve done a great job on the place. It has a lot of the same coziness that the old Petrelli’s had,” said longtime patron Beverly Violin of Culver City.
Petrelli has jazzed up the menu selection, adding new dinner choices such as whole Cornish game hens. And catering to L.A. coffee connoisseurs, the new Petrelli’s offers cappuccino.
But steak is still Petrelli’s drawing card.