The story that has garnered the most interest on this blog recently has been the disappearance of neighborhood coffee shops, and in particular, the mass extinction of SoCal’s beloved The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Thank you to all the readers who sent me news that the CBTL at 9th and Wilshire in Santa Monica has now also succumbed. There is still one extant Coffee Bean in the Third St. Promenade, and I went in today to have a look. The lack of customers, and low inventory of food left me wondering what its future may be… What’s going on? I’m not certain, but perhaps there’s a clue here.
Despite this difficult time, a charming new eatery has descended to earth to spread a little love. Meet Papille Gustative (“taste bud” in French), which recently opened its bright and sunny storefront at 2823 Main St. in Santa Monica. The menu was described to me as modern farm-to-table healthy California cuisine using regionally-sourced ingredients. Currently, they are only open for breakfast and lunch, but plans are underway for dinner and a liquor license as well. And with the repurposing of Main St. to accomidate outdoor dining, there are also tables for al fresco eating. Check out that menu, and read more here. We wish them the best of luck.
Yikes! Ever since I first started telling you about the mass extinction of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf from the Westside, I’ve been hearing from horrified fans mourning the loss of even more neighborhood CBTLs. The Coffee Bean on the corner of Second and Santa Monica Blvd. is now gone. The CBTL on the corner of Wilshire and Federal has disappeared. And, while I haven’t checked it out personally, readers are telling me that The Coffee Bean on the corner of Lincoln and Manchester is now caput. Lots of you have been sending me theories on why this is happening, but if you have definite information, please let us know…
SoCal native Wahoo’s Fish Taco appears to be quiting their longtime address at 418 Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica. A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Trent!) spotted the for lease sign hanging on the front. Since their Brentwood location closed last year, there are currently no Westside location except in LAX. Not sure what happened, but I’ll keep watching to see what develops.
I’ve been reporting, with some alarm, on the mass extinction of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf from the Westside. The large location at 3150 Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica has also disappeared. Lots of you have some theories on why this is happening, but does anybody actually have the story? (Thanks Trent!)
There’s an ABC application hanging in the window of the erstwhile Bowl Kitchen at 2127 Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica. The applicant is listed as Mure Black Inc. If the first name sounds familiar, it’s because its the name of “Michelin awarded” chef Antonio Mure, the man behind Barrique in Venice. And sure enough, the name of the new restaurant is listed as Piccolo by Barrique. Very exciting.
I’ve been watching the mass extinction of The Westside’s beloved Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. It appears yet another one may have bitten the dust. The popular CBTL at 2901 Main St. in Santa Monica appears to be closed. While it doesn’t have the poster announcing the closure as the other ones have had, the windows are papered over and the equipment has been removed. What is going on?
I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but a new noodle joint has quietly slipped into the location that once housed the self-described “King of Poke”, PoKing at 2307 Main St. in Santa Monica. An awning has appeared that lets us know Ensoku Ramen now resides at that address. What’s on offer? Rolls and ramen with “authentic broth, fresh ingredients”, and a “wide variety”. And they’re open for take away.
It appears that something new is taking over the Rick’s Tavern on Main space at 2907 Main St. in Santa Monica. An ABC application posted on the front lists the business name as Station 26. Station 26 just happens to be the closest lifeguard station on the beach. I couldn’t find much information on this new eatery, so if you have any details let me know.
I’ve been hearing whispers that the construction on the corner of Montana Ave. and 10th St. in Santa Monica would eventually be the home of an “Australian” coffee shop. But I was unable to get concrete information until recently, when an ABC application was posted on the front. As you can see, no business name is listed. However, the ABC application online clearly spells out that this will be a branch of coffee experts Bluestone Lane. And this one will apparently have beer and wine on offer as well.
I’ve been watching the space that was the home of erstwhile Baja Fresh at 720 Wilshire Blvd. (corner of Lincoln). The space has been undergoing a remodel for a while now. An ABC application recently went up on the front confirming that Westwood’s Fresh Corn Grill is on the way. Expect a menu of healthy pizza, pasta, salad, tacos, and enchiladas. We wish them the best of luck.
I’ve been hearing from readers that Osteria Bigoli has permanently pulled the plug, so I went by their location at 714 Montana Ave. to have a look. Like many businesses right now, there’s a scrawled note on the front door saying that they’re closed until further notice. But as you can see, their sign above the front door has been removed and one reader (Thanks Kurt!) let me know that the interior decorations are gone, so it looks like they probably don’t have plans on reopening. Let me know if you hear anything different.
Back in early February, I mentioned to you that I had heard a rumor that Starbucks was closing its location at 15th St. and Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. At the time, I had no proof. This week, a note went up on the door that they have permanently closed. Expensive rents on Montana Ave. are to blame, or so I’m told.
Back in January, I told you about the disappearance of Plan Check from its space at 1401 Ocean Ave suite 104. Now a new restaurant is intending to make the space their home. Posters are up in the windows announcing the impending arrival of King & Queen Cantina. Originally hailing from San Diego, the chain has a smattering of locations and sister restaurants. Expect “Latin flavors” with Dia de los Muertos decor that is meant to feel like a “party, out of the box, but more casual”. Of course everything us up in the air right now, but we wish them the best of luck.
Three years ago, I first told you about a Josiah Citrin (Melisse, Charcoal) project moving into the old Santa Monica Electric Co. at 2428 Main St. Since then, furtive signs of work have continued on and off for Dave’s Doghouse, which led me to believe that the restaurant was still in progress. I know that many of you have been checking for updates on this project, but it appears it may have been abandonned. The review signs and ABC application have been taken down, and the space was being inhabited by a pop-up shop selling goods for an elephant charity prior to the shutdown. If you have any information, let me know…
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.
A new ABC application has popped up on the front of the old Tinga/Renee‘s space at 522 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. No business name is listed, but there is an applicant name: Ploenpidh Pola Houston. While this name is associated with a Koreatown bar, the Monte Carlo, after a bit of digging, I found that Ms. Pola is the mother of entrepreneurial brothers Jonnie and Mark Houston, who preside over an empire of themed nightclubs in Hollywood. I don’t have confirmation that this will be their newest project, so if you have any information please let me know. You can read more about the brothers in this LA Weekly story.
Ever since longtime resident Nawab of India pulled out of its spot at 1621 Wilshire Blvd. back in 2017, I’ve been peppered with questions about what might move in. Dark, mysterious plywood has covered the space for a number of months, but I had no clues… until now. An ABC application went up last week and spilled the beans that something called La Puglia is setting up housekeeping. I don’t have any information on La Puglia, but I think its a safe bet to say Italian will be on offer…
About a year ago, I told you about mega-popular Shake Shack‘s intention to build an outpost at 501 Wilshire Blvd, formerly the site of Panera and Polly’s Pies before that. Recently, an artist’s rendering of what the new building will look like was pasted on the front. It seems like they’ve a way to go since no construction has begun yet, and these are uncertain times…