Iconic Brennan's Restaurant property sold

For the first time in 65 years, the building which houses Brennan's restaurant will no longer be owned by one of the city's premiere restaurant families.

It was sold at auction Thursday afternoon, in spite of a last-ditch effort by Owen 'Pip' Brennan to save it.

It was bought by Terry White, a local businessman. White has ties to a group called Leggo 4.

Brennan's was open for business Thursday, and Bill Langestein, the attorney for the new owners, says the goal is to keep it that way.

Three groups were involved in the high-stakes bidding for the Brennan's property, which over the years has hosted some of Hollywood's biggest stars, including John Wayne and Gary Cooper, but lately was mired in debt and a power struggle between members of the Brennan's family.

One of the failed bidders was a group led by Sidney Torres and Morris Bart.  Bart said he was "A little disappointed, but that's part of it. I accept it."

The sale was watched closely by Sheriff Marlin Gusman, whose office will collect three percent of the proceeds.

The sale of the Brennan's property went through in spite of a last-minute legal effort by Owen Brennan to try and block it in court. Owen Brennan, the son of the original owner, failed to post a $150,000 bond needed for a civil court injunction to block the $6.8 million sale.

Phil Wittman, Ted Brennan's attorney, says the  family will likely continue to operate the restaurant under a new lease with the new owners. He says they could begin negotiating for that new lease as soon as Friday.