The Playa Vista location of Hal’s Bar & Grill was the place to be during Runway’s 2017 night market event, photographed by

The iconic Hal’s Bar & Grill has gone out of business, shuttering its locations in Playa Vista and Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice this morning.

Notes on the doors of both restaurants state that the business in liquidating and instruct employees to meet in Playa Vista this afternoon to settle final paychecks. The mood inside the building was a mix of shock and sadness, as the surprise closure comes about a month after the restaurant hired a new executive chef and rebooted its dinner menu. The restaurant’s owners could not be immediately reached for comment.

Hal’s original Abbot Kinney location of 30 years closed in April 2015 when its landlord sold that building for $44 million. A more compact version of Hal’s and sister restaurant Casa Linda (now also shuttered) later reopened down the street in the former home of Primitivo. In 2017, owners Don Novack, Linda Novack and Hal Frederick opened a gorgeous new flagship restaurant inside the now-struggling Runway at Playa Vista retail, entertainment and residential complex.

Argonaut food writer and Venice native Jessica Koslow recently wrote a tribute to Hal’s Bar & Grill on the occasion of its new menu.

— Joe Piasecki