British Bankers Club deal in Menlo Park falls through | January 9, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - January 9, 2013

British Bankers Club deal in Menlo Park falls through

by Sandy Brundage

Kill the social media buzz: A former Facebook executive has pulled out of a plan to reopen the landmark British Bankers Club in Menlo Park.

The deal fell apart about a month ago, according to landlord Dennis Grimsman.

As the Almanac first reported, Owen Van Natta, a social media entrepreneur, applied for a new liquor license for the restaurant through the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control earlier this year, and filed for federal registration of the BBC trademark in March.

Mr. Van Natta pulled out after due diligence indicated that "certain contingencies in the deal" wouldn't pan out, Mr. Grimsman said.

In a case of unfortunate timing, the new owners of Kepler's Books and Magazines — Praveen Madan and Christin Evans — approached the landlord about leasing the space for the bookstore early last year.

"I was taken aback — Kepler's, in here?" Mr. Grimsman said. "(They) really wanted it, but I had just signed the deal with Owen."

He said he's looking for a quality tenant. "The building deserves it. I'm going to hold out until I get someone good. Someone with common sense."

Before becoming the BCC, the building at 1090 El Camino Real housed Menlo Park's administrative and police departments. In more recent years the restaurant's rowdy reputation took a turn toward infamous after a busboy and a cook were arrested for sexually assaulting two women at the club in 2010. According to police, the men followed the women to an upstairs room in the club. Both pleaded guilty to related charges.

Former owners Lance White and Richard Eldridge initially said the BBC had closed for remodeling in January 2012, but eventually announced online that it would not reopen.

Mr. Van Natta did not respond to requests for comment.


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Meet the winners!

The results are in. Check out The Almanac readers' favorite foods, services and fun stuff in the area.

View Winners