By NOLA L. SARKISIAN
Musician, producer and entrepreneur Quincy Jones is adding the title of restaurateur to his resume, with plans to open Q's Jook Joint, an eatery and entertainment club, at TrizecHahn Corp.'s new Hollywood and Highland project.
Hollywood officials are heralding the move as a sign of the region's revitalization.
"It sends a strong signal to what kind of partners we want to bring to the project," said Kerry Morrison, executive director of the neighborhood's 2-year-old business improvement district along Hollywood Boulevard. "We want to attract unique and unusual enterprises to the area. This won't be a cookie-cutter of anything you'll see anywhere else."
Theme restaurants, most notably Orlando-Fla.-based Planet Hollywood International Inc., haven't been setting the dining world on fire in recent years largely because they have a tough time getting customers to return once the novelty wears off.
"Initially, Q's will be able to attract clientele, because it is new and different," said Steve Steinhauser, the director of the restaurant industry practice at Deloitte & Touche LLP. "To keep them coming back they will need the entertainment."
Jones hopes to do that by offering live blues, jazz and rock concerts and jam sessions along with a full-service restaurant.
Jones signed a letter of intent with TrizecHahn for a 10-year lease on the 18,000-square-foot site. He plans on dividing the venue into a 15,000-square-foot music hall for performances and a 3,000-square-foot restaurant, said Jones' publicist Arnold Robinson. Rockwell Group, a New York-based architecture firm, will design the structure in a sleek, modern style, said Robinson. Construction is tentatively slated to begin in June 1999.
"This is a vote of confidence from one of entertainment's preeminent icons," said David Malmuth, senior vice president of development for TrizecHahn. "It's our idea of creating something truly unique."
Malmuth said that in the next several months, more high-profile restaurants and retailers will be signing onto the 8.5-acre, $385 million complex adjacent to Mann's Chinese Theatre, which broke ground less than two weeks ago.
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