LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The space age Encounter Restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport has been closed and there are no plans to revive the LA icon anywhere in sight.

The Encounter Restaurant, which sits next to LAX’s Terminal 1, was remodeled just a few years ago, but the 50-year-old landmark has hit hard times – namely that most people don’t want to walk out to the restaurant and then have to brave security lines a second time.

“I guess it’s a sign of the times,” traveler Chris Argo said. “It’s really an icon for Los Angeles. If there’s any way to keep it, they should find a way to keep it.”

L.A. World Airports says a new restaurant operator is being sought for the space, but the outlook looks dim. So what else could work in the futuristic building that looks like a cross between the St. Louis Arch and a spaceship?

Passengers were quick to offer a few ideas – one thought the restaurant could work as an observatory, another thought it could serve as a place where passengers on a long layover could pass the time. Another thought it would work ideally as a museum on the history of the airport.

In the meantime, the Encounter’s observation deck will remain open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.


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