We all know that Downtown Santa Monica has seen a flurry of construction in recent years. I try to keep my eye on all the new developments, but this caught me totally by surprise. Did you know that there is now a subterranean Trader Joe’s hidden in the block on 5th St between Colorado and Broadway? I sure didn’t. Nevertheless, Trader Joe’s has opened their newest location at 500 Broadway about a week ago.
Obica ended its LA run back in 2020. The Downtown Santa Monica location of the Italian mozzarella chain, at 606 Broadway Ste 100, has sat empty since at least January of that year. But that’s about to change. An ABC application has recently gone up on the space informing us that this will soon be a branch of Tu Madre. Tacos Tu Madre has four other locations across LA and specializes in creative Mexican food in bright, colorful surroundings.
King & Queen Cantina appears to be on a mission to spread their signature brand of bawdy fun to Westside. It was last year when I told you that they were bringing a branch of the San Diego party chain to Santa Monica (it has since opened). Now they have their sites on West Hollywood. Signs are already up on the former Tortilla Republic space at 616 N Robertson announcing their impending arrival. Expect a “party, out of the box” with “Latin flavors” set in Dia de los Muertos decor.
Were you wondering what was going on in the tiny space at 321 Santa Monica Blvd? The location has been a number of different incarnations over the years from coffee shops to, most recently, a boba spot. Now it has transformed into something called the Pink Daisy Cafe. As it turns out, Pink Daisy is a sister restaurant to Santa Monica’s perennially favorite brunch eatery Blue Daisy. Now you know…
The Venice Whaler has been the go-to destination in Venice since 1944. Now they are bringing their beachy vibes and fish tacos to the Good People of Santa Monica. Ma’Kai, on the corner of Broadway. and Ocean Ave. in Downtown, closed up shop during the pandemic. A number of months ago plywood went up on the front, and eventually a help wanted notice hinted at what the new bar/eatery was going to be. But now it’s official: Recently installed signs declare that this will indeed be a new outpost of the legendary Beach party spot, The Santa Monica Whaler.
Check out what they built in the middle of The Third Street Promenade, between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd. There’s a new beer garden operated by popular local watering hole West 4th & Jane. And just to the north of that is a new oyster bar brought to you by nearby restaurant The Independence. What a great idea!
I love a good teaser campaign… We can tell that a new cafe and bakery is on the way to 2024 Broadway in Santa Monica because of the prominent banner and window display. They just neglected to tell us the name of the new spot, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what it will be called. Apparently we can expect breakfast, lunch, European pastries and cakes.
The diminutive space at 725 Broadway in Santa Monica has seen its share of tenants, the most recent being an açaí bowl spot that closed over a year ago. Window covering is informing us that a new venture called Los Tarascos is moving in. The windows promise taco tuesdays and daily hand made tortillas.
I’ve been carefully watching the branch of international Italian brand Obica at 606 Broadway in Downtown Santa Monica. Recently, the restaurant went silent, and the shades have been pulled down. A sign on the door promises a renovation, new management, and a new concept… all by February 10th. But things look a bit dodgy: While I was checking for progress, a self-identified former employee approached me and told me that the staff were unceremoniously sacked with no promise of rehire. His assumption is that Obica Mozzarella Bar is permanently gone. A cursory glance inside the front door reveals that nothing has been touched and no work has commenced. I’ll keep watching but we’ve seen this kind of thing before…
The diminutive space at 725 Broadway is hard pressed to keep a tenant. In the distant past it was Bowl of Heaven, followed by Enso Tea/Acai. But the acai craze is beginning to look a little tired lately, and Enso has vacated the location. I’ll keep watching the troubled spot to see what may develop.