I’m sure you’ve noticed that Santa Monica Blvd. on the Westside has been undergoing a major gentrification of late. An indication of this is the new Starbucks that is coming to the corner of Purdue and SMB, at 11401 W Santa Monica Blvd. This would normally be unremarkable news, except that this will only be the third stand alone branch of the coffee chain on the Boulevard between the 405 and The Beach (the others being at 26th and Bundy), and that is a little remarkable for this neck of the woods.
While I’ve been watching the transformation of the former Starbucks at 1426 Montana Ave Ste. 4 (corner of 15th), it was a reader (Thanks again, Kurt!) who sleuthed out the next tenant. While no signs are up yet, I had a chance to speak with someone inside who confirmed what Kurt had discovered: This is to be California’s first branch of Texas’ La La Land Kind Cafe. And what is that? La La Land is a “socially conscious” cafe on a mission to “normalize kindness” by hiring foster youth who, when they turn 18, are often aged out of the system with few supports. I don’t have any confirmation that this will be the model here, but La La Land provides real opportunity and apparently some really good coffee. They offer an extensive menu of coffee and tea, signature drinks, and toasts. We sincerely wish the the best of luck.
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.
A great many of you were shocked to learn that the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf had closed its doors back in August at its iconic stand-alone location at 1500 Westwood Blvd. Die hard CBTL fans have been mourning the loss, but there is more coffee on the way… A banner recently went up announcing Starbucks as the replacement.
It looks like the poke craze isn’t over yet… I’ve been watching the ground floor of the new development on the corner of Overland and Washington in Culver City. Starbucks and Jimmy John’s have already moved in, but here are still many vacant storefronts. There’s soon to be one less. A banner is up on the space just to the left of Jimmy John’s announcing an upcoming branch of LemonShark Poké. With a smattering of locations across the US, expect build-your-own and signature bowls, Hawaiian katsu grill bowls, and various sides and salads.
I’ve been watching the new construction on the northeast corner of Washington and Overland in Culver City to see what may develop. After a new Starbucks, it appears that a branch of sandwich chain Jimmy John’s is intent on moving in. There are still a lot of spaces left on the ground floor, so I’ll keep watching to see what else may land there.
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.
I’ve been watching the diminutive space at 13050 San Vicente Blvd. suite 108 (corner of 26th) in Brentwood ever since Starbucks closed up shop there earlier in the year. Signs recently went up on the façade informing us that expanding über-hip roasters Blue Bottle Coffee will soon be inhabiting the address. And sooner than you think: According to their website, they’ll be handing out free coffee this Saturday for their pre-opening sneak peak “community day” starting at 9am.
For many restaurateurs and businesspeople, opening a new food spot in Santa Monica can be a nightmare. Red tape and delays make the process a long, dragged out affair. (Am I right Lemonade, Creams & Dreams? And Caffe Primo… we feel your pain.) But for some magical reason known only to the god of multinational coffee chains, a new Starbucks can open in days in the notoriously challenging city. It was only back in mid-October that I told you about a new branch of the ubiquitous coffee purveyor being built on the ground floor of Santa Monica Place near Bloomingdale’s. One month and a half later, Starbucks is open and probably giving Ugo Café a run for its money.
You could be forgiven for not noticing that The Beach’s preeminent shopping complex, Santa Monica Place did not have a branch of a large chain coffee shop. There has always been an outpost of the Italianesque mini-chain Ugo Café, and a now departed Groundwork made a valiant effort, but the big name ubiquitous coffee joints have been kept out… until now. Construction is underway on a free-standing brand spanking new Starbucks on the ground floor, near CB2, directly beneath the upcoming Arclight Cinemas.
LAX has been undergoing some impressive changes. The Tom Bradley International Terminal recently went from decrepid to stylish with a fairly good representation of the local food scene. And now it’s Terminal 2’s turn. Recently I had the opportunity to check out the terminal. Most everything is covered with plastic and construction is fast and furious, but I did get the opportunity to take note of what will be arriving soon. First of all, gone is the dusty old Wolfgang Puck’s Express, one of the very last of its kind. Besides a Starbucks and a sandwich kiosk (Plane Box Food Co.), the only place open right now is The Counter’s assembly line concept Built Custom Burgers. But at least three more restaurants are on their way: Barney’s Beanery, Sealegs Wine Bar, and Slapfish A Modern Seafood Shack. So hopefully in the near future, flying out of Terminal 2 won’t feel like a prison sentence…
Update: And while you’re at it, check out what’s coming to Terminal 6 as reported today by Eater…
Looks like a brand spankin’ new venture, eLOVate, is coming soon to 1705 Ocean Ave. Suite 111 (but actually the space faces Olympic equidistant between the new Starbucks and upcoming and highly anticipated Joan’s on Third) in Santa Monica. Not much information on eLOVate out there yet, except an ABC application that you can check out here. Judging by the window display, I’m guessing the new restaurant will serve some manner of healthy food. They’re promising a Spring opening, but I’ll keep my eye on it.
Interesting how, in Santa Monica, a restaurant can languish for sometimes years awaiting city approval, but a coffee shop opens in minutes… It was only in mid-July, when I first reported that a new Starbucks was landing on the corner of Main and Olympic in Santa Monica. The big news here was the new “Starbucks Evenings” concept: at night, there would be a menu of beer and wine with nibbles. Wasting no time whatsoever, the new Starbucks is already up and running. However, they are not serving beer and wine just yet. They are awaiting approval after the City review hearing last week. So you’ll just have to wait a bit longer for your flatbread and glass of Ferrari-Carano…
Perhaps due to Silicon Beach, coffee houses are rapidly increasing in Santa Monica… Thanks to a tip from a reader, I ventured over to the check out yet another Starbucks under construction at 1705 Ocean Avenue unit C (but really located in the back of the new Waverly building on the corner of Olympic and Main). It appears that this Starbucks will be selling beer and wine in addition to lattes, according to the conditional use permit posted in the window. Located right next to the new Tongva Park, this might be the perfect place to sit with a glass of Ferrari-Carano and try the Starbucks Evenings menu, that you can check out here.
If you thought that the construction on Tommy’s Original Hamburgers on the corner of Lincoln and Pico indicated a remodel, think again. Looks like Tommy’s is out and the space is being rebuilt as a brand new Starbucks, giving us further evidence that Santa Monica, and even this bleak section of Lincoln Blvd., is rapidly developing. Not that surprising, except that the burger stand has anchored that corner for over 20 years.
If you’ve been wondering what’s taking over that choice piece of real estate that used to house Starbucks at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Wilshire in Beverly Hills that is currently under construction, wonder no more. Signs recently went up announcing that a new branch of tea purveyor Teavana will soon inhabit the space. Until then, read more about Teavana, that not-so-coincidentally is owned by Starbucks, here.
The controversial Starbucks on the corner of 11th and Wilshire in Santa Monica opened for business today. And while the opening of a new Starbucks isn’t exactly headline-making news, this particular one is notable because it became a poster child for Santa Monica’s inexorable drive toward over-development and loss of local character, even garnering a petition drive to retain the previous tenant, Farrah’s Florist. But the coffee giant has prevailed, and now sits firmly in command of the prominent corner across from Melisse.
You may recall back in March 2013, I told you about the battle for the street corner at 11th and Wilshire in Santa Monica that you can re-read here. After 25 years, Farrah’s Florist was being pushed out by their landlord to make room for a glitzy remodel and eventual Starbucks. But Farrah’s, supported by local patrons who believe that Santa Monica is changing a little too quickly, fought back. They mounted a petition drive to hang on to the choice spot across from Melisse and El Cholo. Well, sadly for Farrah’s, their petition drive was not successful. They have been forced out and are currently moving into their new spot further up at 2006 Wilshire. So, it looks like Starbucks wins and will be taking over the corner soon. I’m told construction will begin in September. Until then, check out the artist rendering below of what the new coffee shop will eventually look like.
To those of you who live in Santa Monica and have been up late at night worried that you just may have to walk more than one block to procure coffee comes this welcome news… With the recent spate of coffee houses opening across the city comes wind of one more. It looks like a brand-spanking new branch of Starbucks is looking to take over the prominent corner spot long-held by Farrah’s Florist at 11th and Wilshire. If you look carefully at the picture on the “notice of pending design review”, you can get an idea of what the new corner will look like. But not so fast… As you can see by the marquis, Farrah’s is fighting back. Looks like they’ve commenced a petition drive to hold on to the location. We’ll be following this one closely…
Update: I spoke with someone from Farrah’s who explained how frustrated the florist feels after inhabiting the choice spot across from Melisse for 25 years, hence the petition and community push-back. Some of the other shops on the block are losing their leases as well; This is going to be one big Starbucks! The battle will culminate in a March 18th hearing at City Council Chambers. But there’s a bigger concern here. With all the construction downtown (the new Miramar project, the proposed Frank Gehry tower on Ocean Ave. at SMB, and the upcoming Village at Santa Monica), local residents are increasingly worried about over-development and the loss of local character, turning this into a cause célèbre. Looks like Farrah’s could be the latest poster-child in the fight. We’ll see how this plays out…