Almanac

News - July 10, 2013

BBC acquires new proprietor

by Sandy Brundage

It may take a year to reopen the landmark British Bankers Club in Menlo Park, but those longing for its return can feel optimistic, despite yet another change in ownership, given the new proprietor's track record.

Rob Fischer, who owns the Palo Alto Creamery along with Reposado and, in Mountain View, Gravity and Scratch, has added the BBC to his roster.

He said it will take at least a year, however, to bring the building up to code, including seismic upgrades. Renovation is a process he's familiar with; after taking over the Creamery in 1988, he gutted that restaurant to rebuild from the ground up.

Mr. Fischer declined to comment further on his plans for the BBC.

The building at 1090 El Camino Real housed Menlo Park's administrative and police departments before becoming the BBC. In more recent years the rowdy restaurant gained a checkered history after a busboy and a cook were arrested for sexually assaulting two women in an upstairs room at the club in 2010. Both pleaded guilty to related charges.

Former owners Lance White and Richard Eldridge initially said the BBC had shut down for remodeling in January 2012, but eventually announced online that it would stay closed.

A few months later social media executive Owen Van Natta took a stab at reopening the club, only to walk away after deciding his plan wasn't financially viable.

Landlord Dennis Grimsman, who owns the building, told the Almanac he's glad to have a tenant again.

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