Signs appear on vacant restaurant next to Nobu

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Nikita

Two signs have appeared on the vacant, unnamed restaurant next to Nobu on Pacific Coast Highway. The white banners display the word “Nikita”in black lettering, although The Malibu Times could not confirm whether the sign referred to the name of the incoming tenant.

However, an Internet search revealed that a trademark application was filed for “NIKITA” on Jan. 14 by Malibu Cantina, LLC, which is the owner of the restaurant listed on City of Malibu planning documents.

The application is for “Bar services; Restaurant services.” The correspondent for NIKITA is attorney Sheila Fox Morrison of law firm Davis, Wright, Tremaine LLP. The firm has offices in Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles.

Morrison’s profile on the company website states that she “represents wineries, breweries, liquor manufacturers, restaurants, and food product companies in the U.S. and abroad with brand protection and enforcement efforts and other intellectual property protection needs.”

Architect Severine Tatangelo, who is listed as the contact for Malibu Cantina, LLC, on City of Malibu planning documents, declined to elaborate when asked by whether the signs indicated the identity of the future tenant.

“No more news! We don’t have an opening date set,” Tatangelo wrote in an email.

Tatangelo, who designed the building, told the Malibu Planning Commission last month she expected a restaurant to open at the site “at the end of May.”

The signs are the latest in a cloak-and-dagger saga that has kept foodies across L.A. County guessing as to the identity of the new restaurant. Among the other few facts known are that the owner for the site received approval in March on an amended conditional use permit from the planning commission to serve breakfast beginning at 7 a.m.

Tatangelo has also told The Malibu Times and the planning commission that the eventual tenant is expected to serve seafood/Mediterranean fare.

The vacant restaurant already has a permit to begin selling alcohol on site after 11 a.m. and to stay open as late 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. on weekends— just feet away from Nobu.

The site of the new restaurant sits was once home to PierView Restaurant and Cantina, which closed in 2003. Rumors of who’s setting up shop in the poshly renovated digs have been swirling around Malibu for months, but the details remain sketchy.

Restaurants rumored to be moving into the space at one point or another include Bouchon, an upscale bistro with locations in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, and another restaurant by Wolfgang Puck, but neither rumor has materialized.

The owner of the site, as well as the neighboring restaurant occupied by Nobu, is listed on City of Malibu planning documents as “Malibu Cantina, LLC.” Malibu Cantina, LLC is believed to be a shell corporation owned by Oracle Corp. billionaire Larry Ellison.