Ever since the tragic demise of Santa Monica’s beloved branch of Border Grill, I’ve kept a careful watch on the space at 1445 4th St. I’ve been hearing whispers, and a design review mentioned something called Publique, but I couldn’t get confirmation. But then late last week the for lease signs came down, and an ABC application was posted on the front informing us the Le Zinc Bar (Zinqué) will be opening a restaurant called Publique. You can check out the design review, including plans for an open air patio, and an artist’s rendering here.
It takes a brave eatery to give it a go in the sputtering food scene that is Santa Monica Place. Apparently Westside Pavilion’s Z Pastabar believes it has what it takes. They are moving into the last open space in the food court. But that’s not all: The courageous carb purveyor is moving into the new Westfield Century City Shopping Center, and is opening locations across LA according to their website. As a grand opening promotion, the upcoming Santa Monica location is giving away free food if you download their app.
A great many of you have been carefully checking for information ever since I first told you about Santa Monica’s upcoming branch of North Italia, taking over the erstwhile Buca Di Beppo space at 1442 2nd St. in Downtown Santa Monica. You’ll be pleased to know that according to the notice on the door, North Italia will officially throw open its doors on May 30th. We wish them the best of luck.
It was back in February that I first noticed the plywood covering the old Seaside Grill space at 109 Broadway in Downtown Santa Monica. I was lucky enough to run into the owner, Marc Moubarak, who informed me that the name of the new restaurant was going to be Air Food, and the menu would be French. Air Food will officially open its doors on Wednesday, May 24th. Last Saturday night, I had an opportunity to have a look around during Air Food’s “VIP soft opening celebration”. The menu, designed by Chef Thierry, was still being finalized, but what was on offer on Saturday was decidedly French with some Asian influences. Scroll down on their Yelp page to read more information about the promising new restaurant. We wish them the best of luck.
It wasn’t that long ago that I told you about a branch of the rapidly expanding build-your-own Mediterranean restaurant Cava Grill was going to land in Downtown Santa Monica. Now they’re ready to open. And to celebrate, they’re giving away free lunches this Tuesday (5/23) from 12pm to 2pm at their new 1318 2nd Street location. Thank you Cava Grill!
I recently came across ‘now hiring’ notices posted on the papered-over windows of the erstwhile ShopHouse locations at 1401 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica and at 1059 Broxton Ave. in Westwood. The notices announce that both locations will be brand spanking new branches of Korean food chain Bibibop Asian Grill, headquartered in Columbus Ohio. According to LABJ, they intend on taking over all the old ShopHouse locations, including The Point in El Segundo, and West Hollywood’s branch as well.
Downtown Santa Monica is a flurry of restaurant activity right now: Wally’s is on the way, as is a new North Italia, and Carlo’s Bake Shop. Add to that list a new “All Day Eatery” going into a defunct jewelry shop at 331 Wilshire Blvd. There’s not much out there yet on The Gables, just an undeveloped website and Facebook page. It looks like they’re shooting for a Fall opening.