Here at Chez Jay in Santa Monica, where big-name Hollywood wined and dined, it might as well be 1966. But change is coming to this tiny dive bar with the king-size reputation.
Just steps from Chez Jay’s back door and that bar porthole, the city of Santa Monica is building a multi-acre park with picnic tables, hills, playgrounds and two steel observation decks with views of the ocean and the pier. Nearby, more than 300 condos and rental apartments and shops are rising at the $350-million Village at Santa Monica. In 2015, the Expo Line light rail will roll into town.
City officials envision a family-friendly, alfresco eatery to go with the new development.
Chez Jay’s owners hope their 53-year-old landmark restaurant will fill the bill. They are pondering a $1.5-million makeover to create an outdoor patio where visitors could order burgers, fries and ice cream cones (but no alcohol) at a walk-up window. The outmoded 150-square-foot kitchen would become a private dining room. A modernand much bigger kitchen would be built closer to the park. They plan to submit a proposal to the city.