It appears that Santa Monica’s branch of Steak ‘N Shake has abandonned any hope of returning to pre-COVID life as usual. While their website still lists them as temporarily closed, their location at 1455 Third St. Promenade is gutted and a large for lease sign in the window says they’ve no plans to reopen. Their departure leaves a cavernous hole in the Downtown Santa Monica food scene. I’ll keep my eye on the space to see if there will be any takers…
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.
We’re living with madness right now, and shops and restaurants are really feeling it. If you haven’t been out much, you may not have seen that stores have begun boarding over their windows. Sur La Table at Wilshire and Third is covered, and Williams Sonoma on Montana Ave. is also boarded. What they’re anticipating is anyone’s guess…
Back in October of last year, I told you about the disappearance of Pinkberry from 1456 Third Street Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica. Wasting no time whatsoever, expanding chain Somi Somi has opened in the space and is now serving their signature brand of “Korean-inspired” soft service ice cream. And, at the time of this writing, while other places have currently closed (or are offering take away), they are still open, giving us all a little needed cheer right now.
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.
What was in distant memory once a dusty old Third Street Promenade tourist pit stop, The Gallery Food Hall, has been systematically transforming into a remarkable food destination over the past few years. Joining such lofty names as STRFSH, Paperboy, Dialogue, and the fascinating Social Eats concept, there’s now another name to add to the list. Kameo Shave Ice has opened in the old Everytable space on the ground floor. But you’d better hurry, the website promises a “limited time” only.
Trouble for Everytable? With a visionary concept of bringing fresh, nutritious, made-from-scratch meals to a fast food world, Everytable ambitiously sought to transform the food scene along the lines of what McDonald’s did a half century ago. But sadly, their location in the Westfield Century City Shopping Center is now vacant, and so is their spot in Santa Monica’s mercurial The Gallery. Other locations appear to be open.
Everytable Century City…
Everytable Santa Monica…
Downtown Santa Monica’s premier Food Hall The Gallery is hosting Pride events this weekend to correspond to the first ever SaMo PRIDE Festival. All this week we are promised “unicorn food specials”. On Friday (June 14), from 7pm-10pm on The Deck, there will be Drag Bingo hosted by Pandora Boxx with prizes and giveaways. And on Saturday, during PRIDE on The Promenade, The Gallery will have food and drink booths set up. Read more about the events here.
It looks like they’ve figured out what to do with the last remaining open stalls in The Gallery Food Hall at 1350 Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. With such high-profile tenants as Dialogue, STRFSH, and Paperboy Pizza, I’m sure they chose carefully. At any rate, the still-undeveloped part of the first floor is now under plywood proudly declaring that Social Eats is moving in. Social Eats is a K2 project (STRFSH, Paperboy, Nighthawk), and will be a collection of five different eateries, or so I’m told. As you can see, expect beer and wine as well.
Update: More on Social Eats here.
Update 2: Social Eats opens July 19th, 11am.
Café Crepe has long anchored the corner of Broadway and The Third St. Promenade, and was perpetually crowded with tourists. So it comes as a surprise that they have abruptly and unceremoniously closed up shop. A brief note on the door bids a quick Au Revoir, and mentions the Canadian company’s other LA location, at Union Station.
A banner is up on the old Monsieur Marcel space at 1260 3rd St. Promenade announcing a branch of Taiwanese shaved snow dessert people iSno Café. For those who are unclear, Taiwanese shaved snow is a milk-based “snow” topped with various toppings. What makes iSno different is that, according to their website, instead of copious quantities of condensed milk and canned fruit, theirs is made from “organic lactose-free, low-fat milk infused with organic honey and sugarcane” and using “real fruit with puree and superfood with no condensed milk”. ISno currently has one other location in Irvine.
Update: I heard from a company spokesperson who clarified: ISno is NOT a Taiwanese dessert shop, but rather their own brand with a uniquely “shaved snow creation”, as well as organic teas and coffees, and made-to-order croissant pastries. We wish them the best of luck.
This is a bit mysterious… What was formerly a short-lived Bobarrito at 1321 Third St. Promenade in Santa Monica has morphed into something called Pink Sushi. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I’ll keep watching to see what develops.
I’ve long reported on the redevelopment of The Gallery, at 1325 Third St. Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica. What was formerly a fusty old collection of nondescript eateries has been transforming into a destination with some big names attached. You already know about Dialogue, and Voltaggio STRFSH, and recently you’ve been reading about Sumo Dog and Azulé Taqueria. And now add one more to the list. The Promenade-facing, second floor space is the future home of Paperboy. Paperboy appears to be the creation of Jeremy Fall (Nighthawk: Breakfast Bar), that in partnership with United Talent Agency, will deliver “a new innovative take on the classic pizza joint“.
Back in July, Eater let us know that Koreatown’s hip hot dog spot Sumo Dog was planning a move to Santa Monica, but they couldn’t confirm the location. Now it appears that we have evidence for their new digs. An ABC application taped to the wall of one of the interior spaces of The Gallery, at 1320 Third St. Promenade, provides the proof that Sumo Dog will indeed be landing in the same desirable location as STRFSH, Dialogue, and Sloan’s.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a brief and cheery pop up that has landed in the Third Street Promenade. Celebrating 70 years of flavored milk, Nesquik Milk Stop is up and running at 1228 3rd Street. In a bright and playful space described as an “immersive, multisensory pop-up event”, expect multiple counters of treats, Instagram worthy photo ops, interactive activities, and giveaways. But you’d better hurry, the event ends on July 27th.
Loteria Grill abruptly vacated its prime Downtown Santa Monica location at 1251 3rd St Promenade back in late 2016. Since then, the space has sat vacant. But that’s about to change. Ocean Avenue’s humble tourist crowd pleaser Casa Martin is opening a branch at the location, at least according to a recently posted ABC application. No business name is listed, so I’ll keep watching for more details…
A sad day for old school Santa Monica aficionados… Recently, after 30 years, Downtown Santa Monica staple Greek Cuisine Stop’n Café closed its iconic location at 1237 3rd Street Promenade. A gracious note posted on the front door offers gratitude to the community and explains that they have, “decided to pass on this beautiful location to the next generation of entrepreneurs.” And who might that entrepreneur be? An ABC application on the front of the space reveals that it is none other than a familiar purveyor of diminutive burgers that is bent on world domination… Burgerim.
And while we’re on the subject of openings… It was back in March when I discovered that Carlo’s Bake Shop, of Cake Boss fame, was opening a branch at 1354 3rd St. Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica. So, for all you who have been eagerly awaiting a chance to get your hands on their confectionary creations, it is my pleasure to tell you that Carlo’s Bake Shop threw open their doors on Monday. Again, you’re welcome.
The other day I noticed an interesting sign recently installed on the upstairs space in The Gallery at 1315 3rd Street Promenade where Subway used to reside. Still covered with plastic, the sign resembles a license plate and bears an inscrutable jumble of consonants that appear to say “starfish”. It also bears a very famous name, Voltaggio. After much online searching, I was able to uncover only one single clue: On page 35 of the Downtown Santa Monica Annual Report (you’re welcome for searching this document, it’s written on the very last page.), you’ll see this single sentence, “Two new and exciting chef-driven concepts will follow, James Beard Award winner Dave Beran’s Dialogue and STRFSH by the Voltaggio Brothers.” And that’s as much as I can find…
Update: Eater has more details here.
Further Update: Voltaggio STRFSH is now open.