Nobu agrees to Sheriff’s Department’s demands

Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

Malibu’s most popular restaurant takes steps to avoid overcrowding 

Management of the high-end restaurant Nobu met recently with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to work out a solution to recent overcrowding events at the destination establishment. 

The overcrowding on July 4 was so severe that drivers resorted to abandoning their vehicles in the center median of Pacific Coast Highway during one of the most crowded traffic days of the year. The fiasco that ensued caused a traffic backup on PCH that lasted hours, causing headaches for drivers heading to the beach and catching the ire of city officials and Malibu’s Public Safety Commission. At recent City Council and Public Safety Commission meetings, city leaders promised to take action to avoid any future threats to public safety or traffic jams caused by the celebrity-frequented hangout.

Sheriff’s Capt. Jennifer Seetoo met with Nobu management Tuesday, July 18. 

“We went over expectations; the expectations we have as law enforcement whether it’s a permitted event or if they don’t actually need to pull a permit or if it doesn’t meet the qualifications to pull a permit, but they know they can actually generate a big buzz and a lot of people can come,” Seetoo said, referring to scheduled events at the destination restaurant. “Given that situation, they can show that they notify us.” 

The Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff’s captain said her department is currently drafting a contract so thar during “large incidents, parties at Nobu, that they can actually contract with the Sheriff’s Department to purchase parking enforcement and one or two motor deputies to make sure we don’t have the issue that we had before.” 

Seetoo referred to the July 4 overcrowding fiasco that left hours-long backups and snarls on Pacific Coast Highway when party buses and limousine drivers abandoned their vehicles in the center median. Seetoo says she also spoke with the restaurant’s head valet and that they exchanged phone numbers. 

“If there’s an incident, we’ll be immediately notified,” she explained. 

The captain also said Nobu management has the Lost Hills/Malibu station’s phone number, so if management is aware in advance of a big event it can call the station to alert deputies about the event and possibly hire the deputies for crowd control and parking and traffic enforcement. 

“Nobu wants to work with us and we’re excited to work with Nobu and to make sure we keep traffic moving and make sure PCH is safe,” Seetoo said. “That is the primary goal. It’s making sure PCH is safe and make sure we keep traffic moving.” 

Seetoo clarified that it would be up to restaurant management to keep her department informed of big events. 

“They’d have to contact us,” she said. “They’d have to give us ample notice. You know, it can’t be same day.”

Seetoo explained it would take a little time to get uniformed officers scheduled to be on scene. 

“With the staffing levels that the Sheriff’s Department has it takes time to make sure I have personnel available,” she said.

Malibu city officials have their own beef with the destination restaurant over possible code violations that occurred July 4. As many as 700 guests bombarded the expensive sushi and seafood eatery. Earlier, Malibu City Manager Steve McClary said the city would be investigating the overcrowding and traffic nightmare that occurred on Independence Day and that action could be taken after an investigation was complete.

McClary said the city of Malibu would be meeting with Nobu management separately to discuss possible nuisance violations and solutions. McClary confirmed with The Malibu Times that meeting is scheduled for early the week of July 24.