Trader Joe’s Wilshire Will Open On…

What must be the Westside’s worst-kept secret, Trader Joe’s arrival to the heart of Santa Monica has long been established.  Ever since I first confirmed it to you earlier this year, I’ve been deluged with questions about an opening date from adoring fans who were geographically challenged by not having one in their backyard.  So here ya go:  Trader Joe’s Wilshire officially opens tomorrow, November 16th at 2300 Wilshire Blvd.  You’re welcome.

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Pinkberry Disappears From Downtown Santa Monica…

Once a darling with posing celebrities, Pinkberry lead the pack in the frozen yogurt explosion a number of years back.  Could this be an indication that times and tastes have moved on?  I was surprised to see that Pinkberry has vanished from its prime location at 1456 Third Street Promenade.  I’ll keep watching to see what may take over the space.

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NC’s Jazz Shack Swings Into Santa Monica

I’ve been watching the commodious space at 1413 5th St. in Downtown Santa Monica ever since its longstanding tenant, Wokcano, disappeared about a year ago.  It finally looks like a new venture is moving in.  An ABC application recently went up announcing the impending arrival of NC’s Jazz Shack.  I can’t seem to find much information out there on NC’s, but I’ll keep watching…

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Swingers Diner Folds In Santa Monica

Well this came as a bit of a shock…  After what seems like, well… forever (in reality, 26 years), it appears that Santa Monica’s branch of retro diner Swingers has thrown in the towel at its 802 Broadway location.  So what happened to the neighborhood’s fave late night hang out joint?  A note affixed to the front door cites rising labor and food costs, and operating expenses as the culprits.

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Il Fornaio Triumphantly Returning To Santa Monica…

You may recall that a branch of Il Fornaio used to anchor the corner of Ocean Ave. and Colorado (where Del Frisco’s Grill now resides) until its closure many years ago.  But now it appears that the beloved Italian bakery/restaurant is about to make its return to Santa Monica.  The space at 401 Wilshire Blvd, suite 150, has just completed a major renovation, turning it into a bright and airy storefront with a large deck and a mid-century feel.  Recently an ABC application was affixed to the front informing us that this will be the location of Osteria Del Fornaio, a slightly different business name, but the applicant is listed as the Il Fornaio America Corporation, parent company of Il Fornaio and Canaletto Ristorante Veneto.  Right now, the space is completely gutted, so we may have to wait a while to find out more…

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Café De Mundo Bringing World-Inspired Coffee To Santa Monica

Santa Monica is white hot for new eateries right now…  Now it looks like they’re about to get a new neighborhood caffeine joint.  Construction appears to be nearing completion on Café de Mundo at 1502 Broadway.  Crafted coffee drinks “inspired by how the world drinks it” and Farmshop pastries and sandwiches will be on offer.  They’re shooting for a Fall opening.

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Tartine’s Santa Monica Location Will Be…

We first got tipped off about Tartine’s expansion into Santa Monica by Eater, but no location was given.  Then an excited reader recently spotted this, which seems to imply that Tartine will be landing in a new development on the corner of 20th and Arizona (1925 Arizona to be exact), site of the former Gates, Kingsley & Gates Moeller Murphy Funeral Directors building!  So I went by to check things out.  The funeral parlor closed a while ago, and the lot was sold.  The expansive corner space is currently under construction, and an application posted out front indicates that a five story building will eventually stand on the corner.  There’s no indication from the permits that Tartine will be part of the new development.  So I reached out to a rep for Tartine, who confirmed that yes, they will be opening at this location.  The medical/residential neighborhood at first seems an odd choice for San Francisco’s darling of rustic bread and pastries.  But remember that Susan Feniger’s and Mary Sue Milliken’s upcoming project Socalo is only a block away, and sleek The Rooster is two blocks away, so it appears the area is turning into a something of a food destination.