By Bill Dudley

Many WAVE listeners who reside in communities near LAX including Westchester, El Segundo, Compton, Lomita, Torrance and Hawthorne were well represented as their favorite hangout The Proud Bird announced last week that it will be closing after Sunday Brunch on January 31st, for a 6.5 million dollar remodel.

Opened by David Tallichet in 1967, and now lovingly cared for by his son John, The Proud Bird has been giving it’s loyal patrons gorgeous views of the runways and planes at LAX as a combination aviation museum, family restaurant and banquet facility for nearly half a century.

It is a truly unique experience, and that won’t change. It’s 50 year old walls adorned with pictures of military heroes, and nearly 100 years of aviation history will soon be upgraded to a giant food hall with various kiosks of international flavors of all sorts reflecting what Booker T. Jones would call the “Melting Pot” that is Los Angeles.

Proud Bird Exterior Rendering.  Photo courtesy of Lauren Newhouse (Js2 Communications) on behalf of: "The Proud Bird"

Proud Bird Exterior Rendering. Photo courtesy of Lauren Newhouse (Js2 Communications) on behalf of: “The Proud Bird”

No less than 15 craft beers will soon be available on tap, along with fine wines. Several of the decades old aircraft adorning the outside area will be moving inside with the remodel. The vintage 1950’s neon “Proud Bird” sign will stay, as will the main entrance it shines over.

Proud Bird Exterior Rendering.  Photo courtesy of Lauren Newhouse (Js2 Communications) on behalf of: "The Proud Bird"

Proud Bird Exterior Rendering. Photo courtesy of Lauren Newhouse (Js2 Communications) on behalf of: “The Proud Bird”

We almost lost The Proud Bird in 2013, as the community was told it would be closing. The united efforts of churches, civic leaders and patrons who love “the Bird” did not want that to happen. After many years of having only a one year lease, The Proud Bird now has a 20 year lease on a whole new life.

Being a huge part of the African-American community for decades, it is also home to the surviving members of the famed “Tuskegee Airmen,” many of which were in attendance to hear the announcement that “The Bird” will stay. In a twist of intentional irony, the announcement was made on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday.

(credit: Michael Hixon)

(credit: Michael Hixon)

My advice is to see The Proud Bird in it’s historical original look sometime this week before it closes on Feb 1st.

It’s your last chance for a very unique experience before the new “Bird” flies in November.

Check out the aircraft and banquet facilities at www.theproudbird.com.

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