Perhaps you’ve been missing the old Gate of India restaurant that disappeared from its location at 115 Santa Monica Blvd. That space has been (slowly) transforming into something called Tumbi Bar. However, GOI has resurfaced as Rita’s Gate of India in its new location at 1450 5th Street in Downtown Santa Monica.
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…
While no one was looking, Stickhouse, at 223 Broadway in downtown Santa Monica, slipped out of existence and was replaced my another treat shop Merci Clement. If you read this blog, you may remember Merci Clement from its opening in Beverly Hills earlier this year. (Interestingly, it may already be closed: A spokesperson at the Santa Monica location reported it as closed and it doesn’t appear on their official website, but I cannot confirm this.) It looks like this incarnation retains Stickhouse’s array of frozen treats, and adds some French pastries as well.
Planet Smoothie has locations across the US, but relatively few outposts in LA. The closest one to the Westside resides in Santa Monica, and opened back in 2015. But that’s about to change. There’s a notice in the window of the space 193 1/2 S. Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills announcing that another Planet Smoothie is on the way. No word of an opening date and it looks like they’ve got a way to go.
Self-described “healthy supply company” Earthbar appears to be expanding rapidly. With one location just over a block away in Equinox, they are opening a storefront at 1447 Ocean Ave. in Downtown Santa Monica, facing the beach. Find out if you are an “Earthbar Earthling“, and read more about their proprietary supplements, herbal formulas, and sports nutrition here.