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The Lobster has a long history in Santa Monica, Calif. Originally opened in 1923, the 30-seat seafood shack was a popular stop for locals. Unfortunately, in 1985 the restaurant closed. While local restaurateur Warren Roberts wanted to revitalize The Lobster, Mike Nathan, the property's owner, wasn't convinced. Still, Roberts wouldn't stop until he persuaded Nathan. In 1996, nearly 10 years after the restaurant had closed, he did. With Nathan on board, one would assume the project found calmer seas in the years ahead. In 1998, however, with construction already well underway, the city of Santa Monica decided that it wanted to invoke its ability to buy the historic property. Local residents and supporters fought the city, though, and won, paving the way for The Lobster to reopen in its present form in July 1999. Howard Laks was the architect behind the renovation, and his upscale vision, which included significantly more seating and sophistication than the previous space, was without question well received.

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