Beverly Hills lost both of their branches of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in the mass extinction event the chain experienced during the Pandemic closures. Their location at 445 N Beverly Dr. has sat empty ever since, but that’s about to change. A notice of intent for an open air dining permit posted on the front door spills the beans that an outpost of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is on the way. Founded by Jeni Britton Bauer and headquartered in Columbus Ohio, Jeni’s boasts a frozen treat with “a uniquely smooth texture and buttercream body, with bright flavor and clean finish” for which people go crazy, including President Joe Biden.
Il looks like things are taking off for The Runway in Playa Vista. After a strong opening a few years back, the retail/restaurant heart of the development began to sputter. Restaurant closures left many spaces unoccupied. The recent opening of Free Market Playa Vista, the mini-mall filled with hip design shops and restaurants, has really brought a resurgence to the now pedestrian only complex. New restaurants appear to have taken notice and are moving in. And pizza is coming back as well… Window covering on the space that used to be the home of 800 Degrees Pizza, at 12751 W Millennium Dr. Ste B135, is announcing the upcoming arrival of Cacio E Pizza.
I first noticed that Runway Playa Vista was bulding something called Free Market back in 2019. Free Market has two other locations and describes itself an “ever-evolving collective” of “curated products, services, and experiences”. They are close to opening; Their website says May 1, but I was told April 16. In any case, here’s the food lineup: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, something called Joliet Cafe and Bar, and Loqui, which began as a Mexican pop-up at Tartine in San Francisco.