The sounds of a live band playing and scuffling dance shoes used to flood the corner of Green Street and De Lacey Avenue in Old Town Pasadena where the Twin Palms restaurant drew a crowd every weekend. The restaurant, which has stood vacant and silent for the last four years, is reopening this summer under the same name, with a new owner.
The original location, opened in the mid ‘90s by the late chef Michael Roberts with an investment from actor Kevin Costner, quickly became a Pasadena nightlife institution with performances by live bands. It also played host to many celebrities over the years and was the location for post-Emmy and -People’s Choice Awards parties.
The restaurant saw a steady decline in business over the years and eventually closed its doors in 2009.
The two palm trees the restaurant is named for, the large white tarps and the familiar white wall exterior still stand, but new owner Sam Khachatrian is reopening the restaurant with a new vision. Michael Neflas, formerly a chef at Drago Centro, is signed on to run the kitchen. He’ll serve up a new menu focused on California cuisine with Mediterranean, French and Italian influences. It will be seasonal and also feature small plates.
Nelfas will also bring back his versions of two of the original Twin Palm’s most popular dishes: The rotisserie half chicken and the chopped salad.
The interior of the restaurant features a large open dining room and a raised area for bottle service with refurbished wooden tables that sit low to the ground. A long chef’s table is the main feature in the restaurant’s covered indoor area near the wine room.
The restaurant will participate in the Pasadena Music Fest on June 1 and plans to serve free samples of a couple of the menu items as well as cocktails and wine. Full-size orders will also be available for purchase.
The official soft opening is scheduled to take place by the end of June. The restaurant plans to open for dinner Thursday to Saturday and brunch and lunch on Sunday and will eventually open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner and brunch on the weekends.
101 W. Green St., Pasadena, (626) 577-4555 twinpalmsrl.com