Twin Palms. Opened by Kevin Costner and then-wife Cindy in 1994, the huge restaurant and lounge was one of the more high-profile spots in the area, serving what was still called "Continental cuisine" and hosting many weddings, celebrity events and even a political fundraiser for Hilary Clinton. Sadly, it retained it's 90's feel well into the 00's (it finally closed in 2009). The last owners (the Costners sold it after the divorce; it was last operated by an entity of San Manuel Band of Mission Indians) blamed the recession. Everyone else blamed the mediocre food and the fact that it was all scene, and a realllly cheesy one at that.
But the huge sail-like roof has been standing on the corner of De Lacey and Green while nothing happened inside, even as Old Town rebuilt itself up with better and more popular restaurants, bars and stores around it. Well, that three-year hiatus is over: Twin Palms will reopen this spring.
According Patch, new owner Sam Khachatrian wants to retain that old Twin Palms glory but "make it better." His vision includes a new menu that's heavy on Mediterranean dishes and seafood with a price point that's "similar to that of a Houston's or Cheesecake Factory." (We're not sure that's exactly what Old Town needs, but then again, there are still long lines outside of the Cheesecake Factory.) There will be new sails overhead, new bars and a new sound system to accomodate the DJs and live entertainment Khachatrian hopes to book (he's friends with the lead guitarist of Def Leppard!).
We walked by the other day and noted renovations still happening inside, and according to Facebook, the restaurant is already hiring. We suspect Twin Palms should open within a month or so.