You might want to make a trip to the Royal Hawaiian soon! We learned from the bar staff that the RH is under new ownership and may be closing within the next two months.
Yikes! The Royal Hawaiian has seen better days, there’s no doubt. The pufferfish all seem to have contracted some sort of mange, to the extent that it’s actually impressive that they’ve managed to not fall. I think they’re suspended now only by decades of cigarette smoke residue. Now, that’s no detraction for me — my love for the musty is boundless — but whatever dusty ambience could have been achieved is destroyed by the late-’80s white rounded metal chairs. <<shudder>>
It wasn’t always this way — the Royal Hawaiian opened in 1947, making it one of the oldest places still around. It was originally in a different location, and there are photos of the old place up in the lobby. A few details here and there betray that the Royal Hawaiian once was nice. It wouldn’t take much to make it so again, just a bit of care. Today, the Royal Hawaiian is best known in my circles for being a place to get bombed on potent Lapu Lapus.
The Royal Hawaiian’s location right on PCH in Laguna Beach would be an attractive one for most any restaurant, so I can understand the concern that this sale may mean the end of the Royal Hawaiian. More details are needed!