Four years ago, Elon Musk first tweeted about a “roller skates & rock restaurant” that would double as a charging station for electric vehicles. The tweet said: “Gonna put an old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant at one of the new Tesla Supercharger locations in LA.”
Now Tesla Inc and Elon Musk have taken a step closer to making that reality. On May 19, the electric vehicle company submitted documents to the City of Los Angeles for a Tesla diner that would be open 24 hours a day on 7001 W. Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood.
The 9,300-square-foot space includes plans for a drive-in movie theater and a 28 stall supercharging station. Architectural plans show a two-story diner with over 200 seats, both indoors and outside. The outdoor seats will have a direct view to two tall LED movie screens. Food will also reportedly be delivered to cars.
Almost a year ago, Tesla filed applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark a ‘T’ logo for an array of restaurant concepts, from self service to take out. The original location of the Tesla restaurant was reported to be in Santa Monica, although that Supercharger location opened in Feb. without any branded eating options.
The idea was first floated way back in 2018, with Musk tweeting (what else) that he wanted to open “an old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant” somewhere in Los Angeles. At the time it was said to be taking shape in Santa Monica, but that obviously never came to fruition.
New planning paperwork filed with the city of Los Angeles, however, indicates that the dream may not be dead after all. Instead, the multi-purpose development might replace an existing Shakey’s pizza chain location at 7001 W. Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, dropping in a 24-hour restaurant with 9,300 square feet of total space.
Plans for the Hollywood Supercharger restaurant must first be approved by the city. The design will reportedly be futuristic (no surprise) and would replace an outpost of the family friendly Shakey’s Pizza, a fixture in LA; the location is three blocks away from Danny Trejos’s “Trejos Coffee & Donuts,” which anchors an iconic Hollywood corner.
The Musk family are no strangers to the restaurant industry. Elon Musk’s brother, Kimbal Musk, is also already a restaurant operator and owns The Kitchen Restaurant Group, with restaurants in Boulder and Denver, Colo. and Chicago.
The brother of tech mogul Elon Musk, Kimbal Musk had established himself as a tech entrepreneur in the 1990s, which he now describes as “a detour.” Kimbal Musk later studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York. He first realized the power of food as a way to connect communities when he volunteered to feed the fire fighters in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Later, a skiing accident that left him temporarily paralyzed drove him to rethink how he could bring locally raised, nourishing food to the masses, and Next Door was born
But his goal was to build a restaurant concept that would serve as an alternative to the “industrial food” that he felt consumers no longer trusted, and instead build direct connections to local farms. That led him to open The Kitchen in Boulder, which he described as a hit. He also launched a program that builds schoolyard gardens to help teach children about growing fresh food. The menu includes burgers with locally raised beef, but also half beef/half mushroom burgers, salmon burgers and now the Impossible Burger for vegans.
The concept is designed to be fun and energetic, with large bars and an environment welcoming to families and those with allergies or who are gluten free. As the concept has evolved, restaurants are being reworked to accommodate growing demand for delivery and to-go orders, while still serving as a community gathering space, he said.
Rather ironic that with all the talk about Musk buying Twitter that his potential entry into the restaurant business may well have been hidden in plain sight.