In a promising sign that palates are getting sharper, Campanile will be replacing a Chili’s in Terminal 4 of LAX this spring. Mark Peel’s legendary restaurant, which closed on La Brea in November despite sailing many a ship bound for a new world of contemporary rustic dining, is set to reopen, albeit at a quarter of the size of his original. Peel tells KPCC that he’s been planning a new L.A.X. version of Campanile for more than two years, likely before he ever knew his flagship would shutter.
Revisiting the reasons for the sudden closure, Peel says, “Business softened up during the recession. There are certain standards we maintain, and we can’t maintain them if we’re not making money, so it became essential that we try something else.”
The chef-owner is hoping to beat projections for an $8 million annual gross at the airport location, striving for a $30,000 daily take. Peel is looking to May for an opening, with the restaurant just beginning its construction phase. Staff members from the terminal’s shuttering fast food restaurants are now training to oversee Campanile’s rebirth, which will come in at about a quarter of the size of the original.
Campanile will be among the six new iconic restaurants establishing beachheads at Terminal Four, with another nine due for the international Bradley Terminal. So far there’s no exact word on what the menu might consist of, but here’s hoping for more than just the chef’s luscious grilled cheese sandwiches in a fast-casual iteration of the
authoritative La Brea restaurant.