The long-time LAX-adjacent restaurant with retired planes on its lawn plans to close by the end of the year. The Proud Bird on Aviation Boulevard in Westchester has been around for 48 years, for much of that time the go-to place for business lunches and gatherings in the airport vicinity. Its location on the south side of the airport just east of Runways 25R and 25L makes the Proud Bird "a popular meeting point for plane spotters, or people (often tourists) who take pictures of airplanes landing and taking off," says Brian Sumers in the Daily Breeze. "The restaurant maintains a large collection of historic airplanes parked outside the dining room."
In a statement, Los Angeles World Airport officials said the decision to close the restaurant may have been linked to a dispute over how much rent Runway Two-Five Corp. should pay.
According to airport officials, the company had been paying “below market rent” on a month-to-month basis since its five-year lease expired in April 2011. Under those terms, LAWA is now receiving rent of $18,201 a month for 8.3 acres of commercial property, according to the statement.
Under the Los Angeles city charter, airport officials said, a new lease would have go through a competitive bidding process and must be based on current market value. Sources say Runway Two-Five Corp. did not want to renew the lease at market value.
There are no current plans for the site, airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said.