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The Oak Room Closes its Doors

Owner says he's putting his energy into transforming his Pacific Palisades deli next door into a top-notch restaurant.

The lights are off at The Oak Room at 1035 Swarthmore Ave., one of Pacific Palisades only bars, and for the meantime it will serve for multiple purposes. After making a go at running a sports bar, the owner says he does not plan to sell the space.

"I don't relate to bars," said Owner Steve Taub, hinting at his upcoming project to transform Steve's Deli right next door.

Taub reiterated he has no intention of selling or leasing The Oak Room space. It will primarily serve as a space for any community-related or civic activity meetings. An exercise group has been holding classes there, he added.

Taub's former business partner and friend, Lenny Rosenberg, sold him The Oak Room nine month's ago when he was experiencing health problems. Taub said Rosenberg is better now. The shared spaces used to be Mort's Deli and the Village Pantry.

Now focusing on his deli, Steve said he is focusing on changing it from a diner/deli to a deli/kitchen, and to unveil as "Steve's Kitchen."

"I want to relate to a restaurant, not a bar," he said. "It will be establishment I'll be proud of."

So far, Taub said he plans to make several capital improvements on the interior, such as putting a "highly cultured" wine bar, a glass partition between the kitchen and counter and having uniformed staff. He hinted the plans related to other high-end restaurants in Los Angeles.

"I want to make it as eye-appealing as possible," he said.

The social media presence for Steve's Kitchen is getting strong attention, Taub added, crediting the hire of young new manager.

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

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Otto Roth January 25, 2013 at 11:03 PM
The frontage does look terrible. It does not fit into the ambiance of the street. And if the food currently being served in the deli is any indication of the quality of what Steve's Kitchen will offer, be prepared for another empty storefront on Swarthmore. He should take a cue from Maison Geraud. It's not only good looking but the food is excellent as well.
Leslie Ann January 26, 2013 at 05:20 PM
This is sad and disappointing news. With due respect to Mr. Taub, who was formerly in the automobile business, I do not think that he has the background and knowledge to operate a restaurant or bar. We went to the sports bar several times and very much wanted it to be a success but there were several things that did not work and I think this is due to Mr. Taub's lack of experience in the restaurant business. And I know this having worked in several different kinds of restaurants and bars. It is great that he wants the enterprises to be successful but, I think it is time he hires someone who can "relate" to bar/restaurants. I went to a place called Thompson Square (2), a wonderful and very popular bar/restaurant on Lincoln & Manchester and I couldn't help thinking that this is what Steve's Bar should have been. How about approaching the owner and have him/her come in and run Steve's Bar? Let's not have another empty space in our Village. I think the folks here need a fun, friendly, organized and relaxed place to gather and not necessarily another cool & upscale place. Mr. Taub, please consider visiting Thompson Square and hiring someone who can relate and knows what they are doing. Thanks.
Laura Tompkins January 26, 2013 at 07:28 PM
The food is so bad we never eat there but enjoy Madison Gerard and Mayberrys instead. It's interesting that this interview quotes him as saying that he does not relate to bars. First of all, what does that even mean? Secondly, we witnessed him bragging about how great the bar was going to be and how a sports bar will be so much fun for the neighbors to hang out in, etc, etc, etc. people we know who used to have drinks there when it was the village pantry are now at Marix and Pearl Dragon. Suddenly he want an upscale wine bar? That's interesting since we actually recommended this years ago when he first took over from village pantry. Then the eye sore sign went up, the quality of food went down, and we stopped going there at all. In afraid Otto is right. A restauranteur needs to know something about food and ambiance. It seems as if all Steve knows anything about is cars. (He was a car salesman).
Michael D January 28, 2013 at 05:37 AM
Single handed ruined the oak room and I agree with everyone above... seems his EGO got in the way and I hope that he goes away
Laura Tompkins January 28, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Absolutely Michael D. When everyone who could have made the place work leaves due to his lack of humility, you gotta know the problem is you. Albee, the host and manager is now working at cafe Vida. He is the nicest guy and a great restaurant host who was around when the property was Morts. He would rather work for a small but successful restaurant (cafe Vida) than with Taub.

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