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Jay Fiondella

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2013 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
At the bar where a circus elephant and the Rat Pack partied - not at the same time - a couple clink martini glasses. Their faces glow in the late-afternoon light pouring through a porthole. Behind them in the otherwise cave-like room, trimmed year-round with strands of Christmas lights, a busboy moves across wood chips and peanut shells scattered on the pocked concrete floor. He places red napkins atop red-and-white-checked tablecloths grown dingy with wear as Frank Sinatra croons the 1966 hit "Summer Wind" on the jukebox.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2013 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
At the bar where a circus elephant and the Rat Pack partied - not at the same time - a couple clink martini glasses. Their faces glow in the late-afternoon light pouring through a porthole. Behind them in the otherwise cave-like room, trimmed year-round with strands of Christmas lights, a busboy moves across wood chips and peanut shells scattered on the pocked concrete floor. He places red napkins atop red-and-white-checked tablecloths grown dingy with wear as Frank Sinatra croons the 1966 hit "Summer Wind" on the jukebox.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2012 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
Chez Jay, a hole-in-the-wall eatery in Santa Monica, became as legendary as its clientele by serving as a safe haven for the likes of Henry Kissinger, Fred Astaire, John Belushi, Clint Eastwood, Judy Garland and Rat Packers Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford. Lee Marvin once rode in on his motorcycle to order a drink at the bar. In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg reportedly passed the Pentagon Papers to a New York Times reporter at the restaurant's fabled Table 10. On Monday night, in recognition of the cozy bar and restaurant's importance to the city's cultural, social and political history, the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission voted unanimously to designate Chez Jay as a local landmark.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2012 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
Chez Jay, a hole-in-the-wall eatery in Santa Monica, became as legendary as its clientele by serving as a safe haven for the likes of Henry Kissinger, Fred Astaire, John Belushi, Clint Eastwood, Judy Garland and Rat Packers Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford. Lee Marvin once rode in on his motorcycle to order a drink at the bar. In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg reportedly passed the Pentagon Papers to a New York Times reporter at the restaurant's fabled Table 10. On Monday night, in recognition of the cozy bar and restaurant's importance to the city's cultural, social and political history, the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission voted unanimously to designate Chez Jay as a local landmark.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 1991 | CHARISSE JONES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For more than 30 years, Jay Fiondella has sat in his landmark Santa Monica eatery Chez Jay and looked out at Ocean Avenue. He cannot remember all the faces of those who have gotten hurt trying to cross it. Last Monday, he learned from a police officer that the latest victim was his mother, 89-year-old Alice Fiondella. A few hundred feet from her son's eatery, she was struck by a car as she walked in an Ocean Avenue crosswalk that locals say has long needed a signal light.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 19, 1989 | COLMAN ANDREWS
Restaurateur Jay Fiondella's longtime dream of sailing his 65-foot pirate ship in the South Seas may have ended when the homemade vessel fell off a boat-hauling trailer and capsized on Culver Boulevard recently, but the man who once financed the search for the sunken Andrea Doria's booty still has a few flamboyant schemes in the works.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2012 | By Margaret Wappler, Los Angeles Times
When piped-in music and a bar's history perfectly align, it makes for a sweet cocktail of synchronicity, a besotted wink from the intimate interior that makes all the drinkers lean into their liquor just a little bit more. On a recent Sunday night, the ramshackle Chez Jay, a beachcomber bistro in Santa Monica with a legendary past, was packed. Glasses twinkled, waiters rushed through the room delivering steaming steaks, and the Doors' "L.A. Woman" played overhead. "Driving down your freeways," Morrison growled, and it seemed like the room was right there with him, careening down Pacific Coast Highway.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 7, 1989 | PAUL FELDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For 25 years, Santa Monica restaurateur Jay Fiondella dreamed of finishing his homemade 65-foot pirate ship and setting sail for the South Seas. Instead, he ended up Monday with a shipwreck on Culver Boulevard. The flamboyant Fiondella's 26-ton galleon, the Bridgette Smith, capsized on concrete about 12:45 a.m. as it was being hauled by trailer from a Culver City boat storage yard to a similar facility in Marina del Rey.
FOOD
November 11, 2010 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
On a mission to suss out the Santa Monica gastropub the Yard , I'd invited a friend who'd lived in the neighborhood way back when but had since moved away. As we negotiated the crowds streaming past us on Broadway a couple of blocks from Ocean Avenue, she looked around wonderingly. Past the sad shops selling touristy T-shirts and gewgaws, a grim bodega and a clutch of people asking for spare change, she grew quiet. None of this was here before, she said. Santa Monica just didn't have this ?
NEWS
October 27, 1988
It took another public hearing to do it--the third this year--but Santa Monica has finally passed what appears to be a final version of a smoking ordinance for the city's restaurants. A last-minute push to obtain an exemption for restaurants with fewer than 50 seats failed. All restaurants will now be required to set aside at least 60% of their seats as nonsmoking sections. The City Council adopted the law Tuesday night.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2012 | By Margaret Wappler, Los Angeles Times
When piped-in music and a bar's history perfectly align, it makes for a sweet cocktail of synchronicity, a besotted wink from the intimate interior that makes all the drinkers lean into their liquor just a little bit more. On a recent Sunday night, the ramshackle Chez Jay, a beachcomber bistro in Santa Monica with a legendary past, was packed. Glasses twinkled, waiters rushed through the room delivering steaming steaks, and the Doors' "L.A. Woman" played overhead. "Driving down your freeways," Morrison growled, and it seemed like the room was right there with him, careening down Pacific Coast Highway.
FOOD
November 11, 2010 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
On a mission to suss out the Santa Monica gastropub the Yard , I'd invited a friend who'd lived in the neighborhood way back when but had since moved away. As we negotiated the crowds streaming past us on Broadway a couple of blocks from Ocean Avenue, she looked around wonderingly. Past the sad shops selling touristy T-shirts and gewgaws, a grim bodega and a clutch of people asking for spare change, she grew quiet. None of this was here before, she said. Santa Monica just didn't have this ?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 1991 | CHARISSE JONES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For more than 30 years, Jay Fiondella has sat in his landmark Santa Monica eatery Chez Jay and looked out at Ocean Avenue. He cannot remember all the faces of those who have gotten hurt trying to cross it. Last Monday, he learned from a police officer that the latest victim was his mother, 89-year-old Alice Fiondella. A few hundred feet from her son's eatery, she was struck by a car as she walked in an Ocean Avenue crosswalk that locals say has long needed a signal light.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 19, 1989 | COLMAN ANDREWS
Restaurateur Jay Fiondella's longtime dream of sailing his 65-foot pirate ship in the South Seas may have ended when the homemade vessel fell off a boat-hauling trailer and capsized on Culver Boulevard recently, but the man who once financed the search for the sunken Andrea Doria's booty still has a few flamboyant schemes in the works.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 7, 1989 | PAUL FELDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For 25 years, Santa Monica restaurateur Jay Fiondella dreamed of finishing his homemade 65-foot pirate ship and setting sail for the South Seas. Instead, he ended up Monday with a shipwreck on Culver Boulevard. The flamboyant Fiondella's 26-ton galleon, the Bridgette Smith, capsized on concrete about 12:45 a.m. as it was being hauled by trailer from a Culver City boat storage yard to a similar facility in Marina del Rey.
NEWS
March 30, 1989
The City Council voted Tuesday to make an exception to its zoning laws to allow a new restaurant on Main Street. Jay Fiondella, who has operated Chez Jay on Ocean Avenue for 30 years, will now be able to move the restaurant to a building he recently purchased on Main Street. "I'm elated. It's been a long, rocky road," Fiondella said after the council approved the exemption by a 5-2 vote.
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