A new owner is taking control of the concession stand at North Beach after the San Clemente City Council approved transferring the shop's 15-year lease.
On Tuesday, a divided council OK'd switching the lease for the Kahuna Beach Grill from Gia and Eric Lucy to Martin Fox, which went against staff recommendation.
Staff argued that Fox, who has little experience in the restaurant business, posed a risk to continued operation of the concession. In the past, other concessionaires have been awarded leases and subsequently failed, causing hurdles for the city in trying to reopen the concessions--this happened notably in .
However, City Manager George Scarborough said the risk to the city in approving Fox's application was financially negligible. Mainly what was at risk was the food stand as a service to beach-goers.
Councilmen Tim Brown and Bob Baker voted against the lease transfer in keeping with staff recommendations, while Jim Dahl, Mayor Jim Evert and Lori Donchak voted in favor of it.
Fox said the business----would be a full-time venture for him and his family. He told the council he plans to extend the hours of the business significantly.