The only business in the running to replace the vacant Ruby’s at the end of the Seal Beach Pier?
Art Haack, former manager of the now-shuttered ‘50s-style burger joint, wants to reopen the biz as a franchise, according to Seal Beach city staff.
And Haack is the sole applicant.
But, city staff say, the deal ain’t done.
A handful of other restaurants has expressed interest in taking the spot, and some want more time to apply.
So Seal Beach extended the application deadline by six weeks, according to Jim Basham, Seal Beach director of community development.
“We don’t want to see it vacant,” Basham said. “It is a focal point or a highlight in the community.”
Last year, after the restaurant’s owner and city officials failed to agree on new lease terms, Ruby’s notified the city it would no longer operate on the pier. In January, the city announced the business was leaving, and many patrons said they were sad to see the Seal Beach landmark vanish after being there more than 25 years.
The last day of business was Jan. 6, and the last day to move out was Jan. 10. After Ruby’s closure, the city began an official search for a new restaurant to fill the spot, asking for interested businesses to fill out an application by Feb. 22.
Now, with a new deadline of April 12, Basham said he expects to release the updated application on Tuesday.
According to Property Manager Bill Packard, who maintains the former Ruby's site, the new application removes some of the requirements of the original application. For example, the city no longer requires the business to do a market survey and now has to submit a just a two-year-business plan instead of a five-year plan.
Anyone interested can contact the city at (562) 431-2527 and ask for the development services department.
According to city staff, Ruby’s was on a 10-year lease, which expired in October. Assistant City Manager Sean Crumby said the business decided not to renew the lease and instead went to a month-to-month leasing arrangement, which Ruby’s ended in January.
At the time of the closure announcement, the 30-year-old Newport Beach chain, which has restaurants on the Oceanside, Balboa and Huntington Beach piers, had no plans for further closures, according to a Ruby's spokesman. The restaurant had been in the city since 1987.