With floor-to-ceiling decorations — and festivities spilling onto the sidewalk — the official hand-off of Barbarella restaurant at 2171 Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores was celebrated in true Barbara Beltaire fashion, Sunday, Sept. 16. Outgoing owner Beltaire announced last month she would be moving on to dedicate her time to a new philanthropic effort called I Love You So So Much, and the send-off party doubled as an opportunity to meet the new owners: the Hamerslag family.
Jean Hamerslag told La Jolla Light little would change at the iconic eatery: “We’re going to keep it open, just add and improve a few things. The 48 staffers will be staying on, including the chefs and managers. We’ve created a new garden area in the back and cleaned up some vegetation. We’re also updating cushions and pillows and such. We’re committed to keeping it the same in terms of the food and the traditions of the holidays, but we’ll add some vegetarian and vegan choices to the menu.
“It’s very much a family, a warm and comfortable restaurant, and it’s very inclusive with the community and welcoming to the tourists that come, so all that will remain the same out of respect to Barbara Belataire, who did a great job for all these years.”