The Petit Bateau restaurant at 3330 East Coast Highway has closed after six months — but will reopen with new owners in a few weeks.
“It’s a little bit sad for me,” said owner Kamran Khadivi, whose son Kam Khadivi was the restaurant’s general manager. “I started it, and now I pass the baton.”
Kamran Khadivi said he had spent two years researching European-style cuisine that would be successful in Corona del Mar. Le Petit Bateau opened in March, replacing the Pizza Royale restaurant that closed on Dec. 31, 2011 after 24 years in business; read our story here.
Le Petit Bateau was doing well, Khadivi said, when a couple from Provence, who had more recently been working in Breckenridge, Colo., approached him about buying the business.
“They are an outstanding couple from France who approached us,” Khadivi said. “We thoguht they could enhance the possiblilities of the restaurant, could give 10 times better what we have done. They are going to be even better. I wouldn’t have given it to them if it wasn’t so.”
The new restaurant will open in three weeks, he said. The new owners are ordering baking equipment from France, and they plan to bake organic, French cakes and pastries on the premises.
Le Petit Bateau closed for good on Saturday, Khadivi said, and he turns over the keys this Friday. This week, he said, some customers knocked on the door while he was inside working, telling him they wished him well and would miss him.
“It’s astonishing,” he said. “I’m very proud of what I have done over the months.”
Corona del Mar Today will update this story with information about the new owners and a planned opening when information becomes available.