Steak, seafood restaurant to replace Allegria

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The owner is an 18-year Malibu resident.

By Nora Fleming / Special to The Malibu Times

Even with the poor economy Malibu residents are still going out to dine and new restaurants are coming to Malibu, replacing a few long-time favorites, including Allegria, which has served upscale Italian cuisine to locals for the past 13 years. It closed last week and is being replaced with a steak and seafood restaurant.

Charlie Dilorenzo, an 18-year Malibu resident will open Charlie’s in Allegria’s spot in mid-December. Dilorenzo previously owned two restaurants in Pasadena, Bice and Café Med, but Charlie’s will be her only restaurant in current operation.

The steak and seafood restaurant, which will seat roughly 100 people, will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, including late-night dining. Dilorenzo said she plans to have beer and wine sommeliers on hand to suggest meal pairings. Beer and wine tastings will also be available.

“There isn’t a steak and seafood place in town and we needed one,” Dilorenzo said.

The restaurateur said a well- known chef has signed a contract with the Charlie’s, but as of now, will remain unnamed.

Franco Simplicio, a 19-year Malibu resident, sold the spot to Dilorenzo.

“I’m not selling it for any particular reason,” Simplicio said. “It wasn’t for sale. Someone wanted to buy, and I got a good offer and I said OK.

“I have a lot of things to do and not enough time to do them,” he continued. “My motivation [to sell] was that I could focus on all the other things and not on Allegria.”

These other things include four other restaurants owned by Simplicio: Moonshadows, Padri in Agoura Hills, Tanino in Westwood and Sunset Restaurant at Zuma Beach.

Other restaurant news:

In November, The Plate Restaurant will open in the old Monrose Catering location at the Carbon Beach shopping center, which houses PC Greens. Richard Chesterfield, owner of Monrose Catering, has opened a location in Westlake Village, but said he will be back in the restaurant business in Malibu in 2009.

Dan Bercu, who owns the Carbon Beach center, is also the owner of the Trancas County Mart plaza where HOWS Market is located. Bercu is planning a remodel and expansion project for the plaza that will include two new restaurants. Bercu said the process with the city has taken longer than expected but hopes a public hearing on the project will take place in early 2009.

No deals have been signed yet for the second restaurant slated for the Malibu Lumber Yard mall. The owners of Toscana have already signed a deal, but Lumber Yard leasing agent Jay Luchs said negotiations are still underway between a breakfast/lunch café and a Mexican restaurant but no definite choice has been made.