Tucked underneath the Santa Monica Pier, Big Dean’s Ocean Front Cafe has long been a favorite watering hole with locals and the beach crowd, and has remained largely untouched since the 1970s. But that’s all about to change… According to a spokesperson, they are expanding into the space just to the north, adding more patio, bar, and kitchen space. And at the other end of the building, a brand new Starbucks is moving in, bringing a much different vibe to this little hidden corner of Santa Monica. Check out the artist’s rendering below to get a taste of how things will look.
It was back in June of 2013, when I first noticed a new Italian restaurant gearing up to cater to the hungry tourist trade on the Santa Monica Pier. Sadly, it appears that Ristorante Al Mare has closed up shop… Making haste to replace it will be Seaside On The Pier, at least according to the plywood covering the remodel. Looks like they’re installing a grill, sandwich shop, and a rooftop lounge.
This week I heard from a reader (Thanks FG!) who told me about the closure of O & O Sicilian Kitchen & Bar at 1705 Ocean Ave Suite #111 in Santa Monica. I went by to check it out… While there is no notice posted and their website is still functioning, Yelp is reporting them as closed and the space is being gutted. Courageously opening in a challenging location back in 2016, it appears the foot traffic simply wasn’t on their side. Sad to see them go…
A sign hanging at 225 Main St. in Downtown El Segundo informs us that a branch of the much-lauded Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery will soon be opening. With over 200 locations, and appearances on Cupcake Wars, The View, and in USA Today, the sweet shop is sure to bring a lot of attention to the laid-back beach community. Look for a menu of 18 signature cupcake flavors as well as 15 flavors of small batch ice cream made fresh daily.
Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery bringing celebrated confections to Downtown El Segundo.
What’s going on behind those imposing wrought iron gates at 246 26th St. in Santa Monica that used to hide L’Ami, and before that The Little Door, and before that Villetta? It has sat empty and idle ever since L’Ami disappeared sometime in 2017. But a carefully tucked away ABC application reveals that there are signs of life. The app lists the applicant as Operation Success LLC and gives no business name. A search reveals few clues. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what develops…
Back in September, I first noticed that something new was moving into the erstwhile Polish deli space at 1128 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. The paper covering the window listed the new business as First Spoonful. They have since opened as Citizen Sprout and offer home delivery meal services and school lunch programs, as well as in-store selection of sandwiches, salads, and snacks.
A while ago, I noticed that Panini Cafe (now Panini Kabob Grill) had vacated their space at 10861 Lindbrook Dr. in Westwood. Now it appears that a new restaurant will be moving in. With locations in Culver City and Burbank, Grilliant will soon take up residency. Look for a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern menu of kabob, salads, and flat bread wraps. We wish them the best of luck.