Yamashiro closure plan leaves weddings in disarray


The impending eviction of Yamashiro from its longtime Hollywood hilltop location is not just ridding the LA restaurant scene of a dubious touristy favorite — famous as a spot to go for a drink and enjoy the view but don't bother with the food. The closure of Yamashiro is also forcing something like 30 couples to scramble for a new wedding venue. Sounds, however, like the old owner is trying to help and even opening his home near San Marino's Huntington Gardens for those couples who wish to use it.

The Yamashiro property was purchased in March by a Chinese hospitality company, JE Group, which moved to raise the rent on Yamashiro and go more upscale. The 7-acre hillside has some historic chops in LA, with a former mansion built in 1914 and some gardens. The nearby Magic Castle was not part of the sale. Yamashiro's eviction is still in the courts with a hearing later this week.

From the Hollywood Reporter today:

“We had something like 30 weddings scheduled on site at the time of sale,” says Thomas Y. Glover, referencing his extended family's transaction with JE Group, a Beijing hospitality firm that closed a $40 million deal for the seven-acre compound in March. (Glover, who has leased the property from a family trust, had not wanted to leave.) “You can imagine when the brides found out we were going to be evicted, they panicked, coming to us in tears and totally distraught.”

He claims 15 nuptials are still up in the air as a result of a subsequent court case that was filed between the two parties over terms of Yamashiro’s lease, which had been set to rise fourfold to as much as $100,000 per month — an amount Glover insists is “just undoable.” (The next hearing in the matter is set for May 5 in L.A. Superior Court.) This legal dispute has put in doubt an orderly transition of ownership to a new operator.

As a result, Glover notes that he and his wife, Jane, are offering their Spanish-style home (designed by noted architect Roland Coate) near the Huntington Library in San Marino for any displaced nuptial events. “We made the decision that anyone who has a wedding in May, June and into early July would have a very difficult time finding an alternate location,” he says, noting that so far four couples have come to look at his home.

JE Group blames Glover for the wedding disruption, telling THR it has “made every reasonable, legal attempt to work with its current operator in an ongoing or transitional capacity to insure minimum impact to current employees and third-party customers. It is our hope that we will be allowed to honor the property’s legacy and accommodate existing contracts once permitted to do so.”

Meanwhile: LA's vegan community is in an uproar because the owners of Cafe Gratitude raise and consume animals at their ranch in Northern California. THR

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