Though Tommy Bahamas can be called a formula-based business, the store and restaurant approved to open downtown aims to be unique.
The Planning Commission approved a permit Wednesday for the business to fill the ground floor of the Heisler building at Coast Highway and Laguna Avenue, on the condition the decor, menu and merchandise are specific to Laguna Beach.
The interior design of the business is inspired by local buildings like the White House and the cottages at Crystal Cove. “The light and open floor plan includes visibility between the store and restaurant,” said Lance Relicke of Tommy Bahamas, “It is quite a unique combination for us and for Laguna I believe.”
The commission previously approved Tommy Bahamas to occupy retail space on the building’s ground floor in 2008, but denied a separate restaurant to open on the second floor. On Wednesday, the commission approved the request to turn part of the previously approved retail space into a restaurant.
Items sold in the 2,401-square-foot store will also be specific to the Laguna location, and the menu will feature items unavailable at the restaurant’s 12 other locations, including one in Newport Beach.
“Those ingredients, as well as how it is prepared, is very different from anything we’ve ever done,” Relicke said.
The 105-seat restaurant will be open until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday, featuring acoustic music from no more than one musician.
As part of fitting in downtown, the business will also house about 45 historic pictures of the building, which opened in 1930. It has been vacant for more than two years since longtime Laguna restaurant the Jolly Roger left.
The commission approved the permit for the store and restaurant unanimously, adding the condition on unique items when Relicke and other Tommy Bahamas representatives didn’t object.
“This was very much part of our conversation when we approved this,” Commission chair Ann Johnson said. “Congratulations and hurry up please.”
via the OC Register