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LottaLiving.com • PARASOL TO REOPEN AS MEL'S DRIVE-IN
Page 1 of 2

PARASOL TO REOPEN AS MEL'S DRIVE-IN

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:10 am
by Adriene

This is good.

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:49 am
by losfeliz

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:40 pm
by Dustyman73
Well, that is good news. The sign and the building stay. Kudo's to Mel's for preserving this (and other) great places. I hope Mel's can find a way to incorporate those chandeliers into the place, though. Anyway, I WILL support Mel's with my patronage. Thanks for the heads up, Adriene.

Re: PARASOL TO REOPEN AS MEL'S DRIVE-IN

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:15 pm
by So_Cal_Native_in_Texas

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:25 pm
by SpaceAgeCity
That's great news! Thanks to everyone who fought the good fight! I'm particularly glad to hear that the interior can still be salvaged. It didn't sound good for a while there.

Keep up the good work!

Chris

Perhaps Mel's

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 2:20 pm
by modfan
Could expand into the San Joaquin Valley and take over the just closed Mearle's Drive in Visalia? (They would just have to change the 'earle's' to 'el's' and keep everything else pretty much the same).

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:50 am
by CapitalMod
Fantastic news! Glad to hear it.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:39 pm
by Synthetrix
This is indeed good news and I look forward to visiting when they reopen.

Awesome!!!!!

Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:58 pm
by retrocool
Wow ! Adriene that is great news. Congrats!!!! Now if we can just get Mel's to take over Harvey's/Johnie's Broiler in Downey that would be great.

www.harveysbroiler.com


Great job!

Retrocool[url][/url]

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:08 pm
by Adriene
Thank you, everybody! Let's all meet there next Spring to celebrate Mel's grand opening -- it'll be a big event!

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:30 pm
by Adriene
Pix of The Parasol - renovation-in-progress:
http://www.presstelegram.com/business/ci_4316662

Article Launched: 9/11/2006 12:00 AM


A hamburger, Googie style
Former Seal Beach icon Parasol being replaced by L.A. icon Mel's Drive-in Diner, part of Rossmor Center renovations
By Don Jergler, Staff writer
Long Beach Press Telegram

SEAL BEACH - Residents here will have a serving of pop-culture with a side of "Googie" architecture to compliment their new "lifestyle center."

Mel's Drive-in Diner - a centerpiece in George Lucas' coming-of-age classic "American Graffiti," and a backdrop in the opening credits of HBO's series "Entourage" - will be the first new tenant to open in The Shops at Rossmoor.

The revitalization project will transform the former Rossmoor Center into an outdoor "lifestyle" shopping center where the communities of Seal Beach, Rossmoor and Los Alamitos meet.

The Shops is owned by Century National Properties Inc. The project area is on 8 acres and is located in the northern portion of the full 39-acre center at the westside of Seal Beach Boulevard where the street turns into Los Alamitos Boulevard.

The project will replace 118,500 square feet of commercial buildings with 125,784 square feet of new commercial, retail and restaurant facilities.

One of the only remnants of the old mall is The Parasol. Community outcry saved the pink-and-white, umbrella-shaped diner, which opened in 1967, from demolition.

And now it has given Mel's a home.

Saving The Parasol was a cause celebre among longtime residents who spoke longingly about the experiences shared eating at the restaurant, one of the few remaining in Southern California built "Googie" style.

Googie architecture thrived in the 1950s and 1960s and was marked by its use of bold angles, colorful signs, plate glass, cantilevered roofs and pop culture imagery, according to the devotee Web site, spaceagecity.com. Most often the architecture was used for coffee shops, diners and bowling alleys.

The building is being upgraded at a cost of about $1 million. Mel's is set to open in early April.

Developers had three criteria in searching for a tenant for The Parasol: A restaurant that could speak to the vintage of the building, a restaurant that served meals for around $10 and a restaurant that serves breakfast.

"Mel's met all three of our goals," said Shari Walker, project manager.

Following the fame the restaurant gained from "American Graffiti," Steven Weiss and partner Donald Wagstaff opened the first of a new generation of Mel's in 1985 on Lombard Street in San Francisco.

The restaurant, a remnant from the 1950s drive-in era, was followed by another location in San Francisco, then two more, one in Sherman Oaks and the other in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip - the former is the restaurant featured in "Entourage."

Mel's owners had been looking to locate in Orange County.

"When The Parasol restaurant became available ... we lucked out by being the ideal tenant to take over a Googie-style building," Weiss said.

Mel's is no stranger to odd buildings, he said.

Hollywood and Highland, and Sherman Oaks were both unique structures, and there's a Mel's in the old Max Factor building in West Hollywood.

Tenants remaining in the shopping center are Kohl's department store, and Rossmoor Cleaners. Other tenants have left over the years, many before the remodeling was announced. Gone is the old Super Saver Cinema 7, which last charged $2 for second-run shows, Blue Mountain Bagel, and Rossmoor Brunswick Bowl.

The Shops will have 18 retailers and restaurants, including "a wide variety of fashion, a spa, banks, food, books and electronics," Walker said. "This is going to be what we call in the shopping center industry the lifestyle component."

The developer will be delivering spaces to tenants in April, and stores are expected to be open in late summer 2007.

Construction on the parking lot work is under way right now, and that work is expected to be completed by November.

Negotiations are under way with several tenants, she said. Plans call to start announcing tenants in mid-September.

Among the planned stores will be a board sports store, which will likely include skate, surf and snow, a small-format electronics store and a bookstore, she said.

Another component will be a large Mediterranean spa.

"Our goal is to have a little bit for every age group," she said.

The cost of the project is around $30 million.

"What we're doing is creating an environment where you will go to four, five, six of them at once," she said.

Staff writer Felix Sanchez contributed to this report. Don Jergler can be reached at don.jergler@presstelegram.com or (562) 499-1281.

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:14 pm
by Lynxwiler
I do hope Mel's can recreate what the building once was and not just make it a generic, retro-fried 1950s coffee shop – like a Denny's Diner. Here's what the Parasol as it once was.

Image

Below is the Seal Beach Parasol as of September 2006, as photographed by the Press Telegram. Any updates out there?

Image

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:48 pm
by Dustyman73
I'm curious as to how it's going to turn out, too. From what I have seen Mel's do to the other places, I think it won't be a generic place. Mel's seems to be deliberate in keeping their drive-ins as unique places. Hopefully that will be the case with the Parasol. Does anybody know if the sign is still standing? If they are going to keep the taller sign, they will probably have to restore the existing one, since most sign ordinances require new signage to be those silly, useless, little monument signs.

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:08 pm
by BOXOUTBM
I drive by this all the time and I don't seem to remember seeing the sign, but normally I am looking at the structure itself to see how much has been accomplished. I will look tonight

Sign

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 3:45 pm
by retrocool

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:03 pm
by nichols
OC REGISTER

Friday, June 29, 2007
Parasol restaurant to be reincarnated
In its next life, Seal Beach's architectural oddity will be a Mel's Drive-In, part of a chain of nostalgia-inspired restaurants.
By SCOTT MARTINDALE
Image
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
SEAL BEACH - Steven Weiss sees Formica countertops, jukeboxes and chrome accents when he walks through the gutted Parasol building, a Seal Beach Boulevard landmark that once housed a family-style eatery under a circular pink-and-white roof.
Weiss, the operator of a successful chain of 1950s-style diners in the Los Angeles area and San Francisco, is gambling about $1.5 million to restore the Seal Beach building and reopen it this fall as Orange County's first Mel's Drive-In diner.
"I've been in this business for about 40 years, since I was 15 years old," Weiss said this week as he toured the future home of his new restaurant, which he designed himself down to the light-green terrazzo floor. "I know what I'm doing."...

Image
http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/ho ... 748336.php

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 7:40 am
by Dustyman73
I am so glad that that Steven Weiss and Mel's are making this investment! It takes a lot of heart to go into a venture like this and give new life to an old landmark. I, for one, will support with my patronage the Parasol Mel's when I am in the area. Thanks for the update.

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:33 pm
by BOXOUTBM
I can't wait for Mel's to open. My wife and I live close and will be there alot.

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:31 pm
by So_Cal_Native_in_Texas

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:07 pm
by Perks

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:35 pm
by nichols
Perks, for your Valley dining enjoyment:
http://www.lottaliving.com/valleytour/dining.shtml

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:18 pm
by Perks

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:41 am
by nichols
PRESERVATION 911

A Googie-style restaurant reopened yesterday, three years after its owners decided to demolish the 1967 structure in Seal Beach, Calif...

http://www.nationaltrust.org/magazine/news/index.htm

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:48 am
by nichols
Just called. They didn't really reopen. December 10th is the first day of business.

562.594.8916

OC Register says :

A new eight-acre, 17-business shopping center that includes the landmark Parasol building will hold a grand-opening celebration Saturday after undergoing massive renovation in the past few years.
Most of the stores at The Shops at Rossmoor, formerly the Rossmoor Center, will open by Saturday's celebration. Other stores, including Mel's Drive In – in the former Parasol building — will open in the weeks to follow...
Image

LONG BEACH PRESS TELEGRAM says:

...At the heart of the development is Mel's Drive-in Diner, in what was formerly the Parasol. Community outcry saved the 1967 pink-and-

white structure, with its distinctive umbrella-shaped roof, from demolition.

Saving the Parasol was a cause celebre among longtime residents. Many spoke wistfully about the experiences shared eating at the restaurant, one of the few remaining in Southern California built "Googie" style...

http://www.presstelegram.com/search/ci_7422633

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:21 pm
by scowsa
"Hundreds come to Mel's Drive-In diner opening"
Crowds were lined up for the 5:30 a.m. opening of the Seal Beach diner in the landmark Parsol building at The Shops at Rossmoor.

More at

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:21 pm
by pgharchfan

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:22 am
by Adriene
Sorry to hear that, but keep in mind the staff was overwhelmed on opening day and there literally were customers lined up from dawn to dusk. I drove down to Seal Beach too and while I know it'll never be the old Parasol, I have to say that we worked so hard to prevent its demolition, supporting the local community and previous owner Roy Hall -- that I am happy that Steve Weiss of Mel's stepped in and invested in rescuing it.

We've already spoken with him about organizing a classic car cruise night and I'm sure operations will smooth out as they get up and running.

I hope all of you will take a drive down and support Mel's at The Parasol!

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:56 pm
by JMVegas5866

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:26 am
by BOXOUTBM
My Wife and I have been excited about this from Day 1 I have been going out of my way when returing home from Work (Los Angeles) for the last few months, just to check out the progress. I wish we could have made the opening, but the Holidays have been keeping us really busy. I am hoping to have breakfast there this upcoming weekend.

Also I am sure whatever issues they have (management, staffing, Food consistancy, etc.) will work themselves out. That is normal for a newly opened restaurnat and having eaten at a few Mel's over the years, the food, customer service will be up to par shortly. Its great to see the Parasol back up and running (even in its new form and ownership).

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:18 pm
by Adriene