Some excellent sleuthing on the part of one of my readers (Thanks Helen!) uncovered the mystery of what has leased the former Swingers space at 802 Broadway (corner of Lincoln) in Santa Monica. She was able to discover a municipal application that reveals the name of the new business. Apparently, it is none other than a Sawtelle’s white-hot Mexican destination Hermanito. And this guy’s company is doing the design and consulting. Interesting…
A reader (Thanks Andrew!) wrote to tell me that he had spotted window signs up in the space that formerly housed Yalla Mediterranean at 9516 Culver Blvd. The signs let us know that Sweet Lily Bakery is settling in. Sweet Lily currently has a location on Cahuenga, and is the dream of two people from France, Marine and Thibaut, the latter of whom won “Best chocolate eclair of Paris”. Expect a solid menu of French favorites including pastries, cakes, sandwiches, tartines, and quiche.
People were devastated when favorite neighborhood French charmer Belle Vie fell victim to the Pandemic. According to new signs, the space will soon be a branch of up-and-coming pie joint The Upper Crust Pizzeria. You may recall that before Belle Vie, this space was the home for 40 years of Divita’s Pizzeria, so I guess this is a bit of a full circle. The Upper Crust has locations in Massachusetts and California and offers a menu of “sort of famous” pizza, wings, lasagna, and calzone.
Good news aerospace people, a new dining option is landing at 13257 Hawthorne Blvd. in Hawthorne. A branch of American Deli has settled in to the location. American Deli boasts almost 200 locations, mostly in the American South, but also a couple here as well. Their menu focuses on classic American food such as wings, reubens, burgers, and subs. Expect an opening in a few days, according to a spokesperson.
It was a long road to get here, but the end is in sight… Originally, back in May of 2020 I reported that the space at 930 Montana Ave. was going to be home to a branch of Bluestone Lane. Well, a lot happened between then and now. Bluestone Lane dropped the space, and a year later window paper went up for Go Get Em Tiger. It’s taken over a year, but GGET will officially throw open their doors to the Good People of Santa Monica on Monday, June 20th, according to a spokesperson. Eater is reporting a brand spanking new prototype all-day menu at this location, which you can see here.
A while ago, I wondered at the papered-over windows of frozen-in-amber java joint Brighton Coffee Shop, that has stood on the corner of Brighton and Camden for over 90 years. Thankfully, I had a chance to talk with spokesperson who assured me that they will reopen the beloved coffee spot. It’s simply getting a modern upgrade with a fresh new look: Think French woven cafe chairs and bright cheery colors. The menu, I’m told, will stay pretty much the same. It looks like they’re close to reopening…
Beverly Hills lost its branch of international gelato brand Amorino during the Pandemic. Now it looks like another icy treat company is moving to the space at 9605 Santa Monica Blvd. The address was recently rented, but no signs have appeared. There is, however, a small legal notice taped to the front door. It lists the new tenant at Ample Hills Sub LLC, the company behind Ample Hills Creamery. Ample Hills make their ice cream from scratch in their Brooklyn “plant” where they actually pasteurize their own dairy and bake their own mix-ins. They have locations in New York, New Jersey, and in Long Beach CA.
Note: I do not yet have confirmation on this story.
Ever since the Belcampo closed down at 1026 Wilshire due to a spot of trouble, I’ve been keeping my eye on the commodious space to see what would move in. The mystery is now over. Signs went up this week announcing a branch of Kalaveras. Kalaveras offers an immersive El Dia de Los Muertos celebratory fast/casual concept with “Latin American culinary classics” and a focus on mixology. They have locations across LA County, with a serious expansion in the works including Long Beach, Silver Lake, Newport Beach, and others.
Thanks to all the shocked readers who took the time to tell me that under-the-radar neighborhood fave burger joint Shaka Shack has abruptly quit its location at 1701 Ocean Park Blvd. The place is completely gutted, their website no longer functions, and the signs have been pulled down. Their Yelp page is promising a reopening on July 1, but that seems unlikely at this location. I’m not sure what happened, but I’ll keep my eye on this corner strip mall space to see what may develop…
For a while now, I’ve been watching the former home of Panini Kabob Grill at 9601 N Santa Monica Blvd. Construction has been fierce since the Mediterranean eatery closed its doors during the Pandemic, but there was no signage to indicate what was replacing it. Recently a now hiring banner went up on the front that lets us know that this will be a branch of the ever-popular chain Shake Shack, which as you know, began life around 22 years ago as a pet project of legendary New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and has ever since embarked on an inexorable march toward world domination fueled mostly by the cultish devotion of fans.
It appears that Hollywood poultry purveyor Kismet Rotisserie is expanding to Culver City. A reader (Thanks Joyce!) noticed the window paper up on a space just to the right of the incoming Konbi at the One Culver complex in the 10000 block of Washington Blvd. Expect a “globally-inspired” menu of chicken, sandwiches, and salads. (The LA Times just gave them a glowing recommendation for picnic food at The Hollywood Bowl…)
Ever since tropical-themed eatery Islands closed down at 404 Washington Blvd. in Marina Del Rey, I’ve been hearing from readers wondering what would be moving in. Construction began almost immediately following the closure, but now we now we have answers. A big banner is up that informs us that Coco Beach Bar & Grill is the name of the new restaurant. A reader (Thanks TD!) had a chance to talk with the new owner, who described Coco Beach as a “family-friendly Mexican fusion place”.
There’s one question that I literally get asked daily: “When will Izzy’s Deli reopen?” You may recall that Santa Monica’s storied Izzy’s, at 1433 Wilshire, closed back in 2020 for what I reported at the time was an earthquake retrofit. Soon afterwards, a cheery “We’ll be back” was painted on the windows and Santa Monicans let out a collective sigh of relief. Well… you may want to sit down for this: Those cheery signs have been taken down and replaced with for lease signs. So even though their website still promises a June return, The Santa Monica Observer has confirmed the sad news that after almost 50 years, Izzy’s Deli is permanently closed. My condolences…
This landed in my inbox: This Sunday, May 29th from 12-5pm is the 7th annual MAINopoly: A Taste of Main Street. This event is a pet-friendly, boardgame-themed culinary walking tour of Main Street’s fave neighborhood eateries, coffee spots, and treat shops. Attendees will use “MAINopoly dollars” and are encouraged to dress in “Monopoly-inspired or patriotic Memorial Day attire”. There will be a “Go to Jail” beer garden, cocktails, DJ, and prizes. Some (but not all) of the restaurants that will be participating are: Ashland Hill, Sweet Rose Creamery, June Shine, and Holey Grail Donuts. The event takes place between Navy and Bay St. (check in at Ashland Hill) and benefits The Main St. Business Improvement Association. Read more and get your tickets here.
A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Adrian!) wrote to tell me about something taking over the papered-over former home of wine bar and event specialist Fundamental at 1303 Westwood Blvd. There’s a small, hand-written note on the front door naming the new establishment as The French Way. I can’t seem to find out much information on this new eatery, but the note on the door confirms that it will be a restaurant, and they are shooting for a June 15th opening.
There’s window paper up on the corner spot at 1133 Montana Ave in Santa Monica announcing that a new frozen confection spot is moving in. Mochidoki offers high-quality mochi ice cream and was founded in New York in 2015 where they still operate two locations. This will be the first West Coast outpost. Their menu consists of “imaginative and refined Japanese-inspired desserts” in such flavors as red bean, cake batter, and salted caramel. According to their website, they are the “preferred provider” of mochi ice cream to such establishments as Nobu, Tao, and others.
A new dessert place is expanding into The Westside. MeloMelo has a new location in Westchester at 8336 Lincoln, and is soft-opening a location in Sawtelle Japantown this Friday at 2002 Sawtelle Blvd. MeloMelo currently has a smattering of LA locations and offers a creative menu of proprietary coconut jelly mixed with fruit, dairy, and other ingredients, all served in environmental glass jars. Personally, I’m excited to try the durian coconut.
Winston Pies unceremoniously quit the unlucky space at 1705 Ocean Ave., but the plucky pastry purveyor is not done with Santa Monica quite yet. There’s window paper up on the front of the old Milo SRO space at 826 Pico Blvd. announcing the arrival of the expanding popular bake shop. Winston produces pies that are handmade from scratch using natural ingredients and baked in the tradition of founder Brianna Abrams’ childhood home of Winston-Salem, NC. Thanks to PHW for spotting the notices.
It was only a little over a month ago that I told you about the catastrophic loss of Santa Monica’s neighborhood fave Bread & Porridge. Thank you to all the readers who wrote to tell me about what would be replacing the beloved breakfast eatery. The windows are still papered over, but a notice on the front lets us know that something called Flapjax is quickly moving into the space at 2315 Wilshire. A cursory search reveals one familiar name associated with the new restaurant: Ebru Fidan Caplan. Caplan is the force behind another popular breakfast spot, Bru’s Wiffle.