Two years and nine months after it opened on the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Caspar, adjacent to the long-running Eagle Rock Farmers’ Market, one of the neighborhood's favorite eateries has shut its doors.
Corner Pizzeria, whose bright-red and yellow walls were decorated with license plates from just about every state in the nation, baked its last pizza on Sept. 30.
The family-run restaurant now has a new set of owners. And they’re planning to start a Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria franchise on the property—but with a twist. Instead of a stand-alone BMPP franchise, the new venture will combine a pizzeria with a bar.
Modeled on the BJ’s chain of casual restaurants, the bar will be located in the vacant space next door, where Corner Pizzeria’s founder, Eddie Kadinyan, had planned to start a stylish restaurant called 5 Line. The proposed restaurant’s name is a tribute to the 5 Line “Yellow Cars” trolley system that once linked Eagle Rock to downtown Los Angeles and the City of Hawthorne.
The new pizzeria will be connected to the BJ’s-style bar by a common door, according to manager Alex Mehrabian. The two-in-one restaurant will retain the “5 Line” name, which will be combined in some way with BMPP. The upcoming restaurant, which will seat about 140 guests, is expected to be finished by February 2013.
The Corner Pizzeria sign is still outside the restaurant, but it won’t be there for longer than a week or two, Mehrabian said. Pizzas made with Big Mama’s & Papa’s ingredients are already being served, although the Corner Pizzeria menu has been retained—at least for now. Corner Pizzeria discount coupons are also being honored.
The new restaurant is being refurbished. Dining tables and chairs inherited from Corner Pizzeria will soon be replaced, and booths redone, according to Mehrabian. The red-brick wall facing Caspar Avenue will be fortified with 6-inch by 8-inch wooden beams.
To Corner Pizzeria lovers, the most glaring change so far is the sight of the restaurant’s walls. No longer do they sport the colorful license plates that Corner Pizzeria’s founder purchased on Ebay. The plates were all recently bought by a customer, manager Mehrabian said.
Asked why he sold Corner Pizzeria—especially without realizing his dream of opening 5 Line—Kadinyan said he was bought out by the new owners, whom he identified as a corporation consisting of three partners. “It was a good opportunity for me and my family,” he said. “We liked the price we got.”