Despite the devastation that pandemic restrictions have wrought on the restaurant industry, we have a bunch of new establishments to look forward to in coming months. If I missed any, let me know.
Felicia Medina and Peter Lee say that the food at their restaurant in the former Café Ana space at Anacapa and Anapamu will be similar to what they were doing at their pop-ups (including a long run on weekends at the Handlebar on De La Vina), but with a slightly bigger menu and they’ll be able to offer delivery. Opening forecast: Mid-to-late February.
ALESSIA PATISSERIE & CAFÉ
Alessia Guehr—daughter of the Nook’s Norbert Schulz—is opening a café and bakery at 314 E. Canon Perdido, two doors down from Handlebar Coffee Roasters. “It’s a modern European inspired patisserie & cafe,” she said in May. “We will serve a full breakfast and lunch menu, coffee, croissants, breakfast pastries, cakes, chocolates, breads, and candies.” When I checked back for this post, she added that they’ll also be offer charcuterie picnic baskets and a large variety of other to-go items. “And when Covid is over we hope to start a ticketed ‘just dessert service’ tasting menu paired with dessert wine and champagne, as well as some other fun local deals.” Opening forecast: Mid to late April.
In March, it was reported that Riviera Bar would be opening at 20 W. Figueroa, once the home of the Sportsman dive bar, and by June the interior looked good and ready. But the bar has never opened—with pandemic restrictions to blame, one assumes—and there’s nothing online. The liquor license is in the name of Kevin Boss; an operator of the Shoreline Beach Cafe and an original partner in the Paradise Cafe, he also owns the W. Figueroa building. Opening forecast: Likely whenever indoor dining (and drinking) resumes.
BAR LE CÔTÉ
The restaurant that Daisy and Greg Ryan of Bell’s are opening in the former Sides Hardware & Shoes space in Los Olivos will be a “seafood tavern” called Bar Le Côté. “Le Côté refers to both ‘the side of’ and ‘the coast,’ explained Greg. “Brad Mathews will be our chef and partner. We are old friends and he was the chef at Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach under David LeFevre. He also works with Neal Maloney at Morro Bay Oyster Company.” Opening forecast: Spring.
The former Mandarin Touch space in Solvang will be home to three concepts from chefs Anthony Carron, Lincoln Carson, Steven Fretz and sommelier Rajat Parr. Take it away, Santa Ynez Valley News: “The Vaquero Bar, a full cocktail bar with outdoor dining patio, will offer a wide selection of cocktails, local wine and craft beer, as well as a bar food menu. The daytime cafe and deli will feature pastries, coffee and lunch items to enjoy on the restaurant’s patio or as a picnic to take to a local winery. The dinner-only steakhouse and seafood restaurant will serve fare celebrating farms, ranches and seafood of the region, including product from the owners’ Santa Ynez ranch.” Opening forecast: Vaquero Bar and its terrace dining are shooting for early February, with the restaurant and café following in the spring.
Kiva Cowork (née Impact Hub) cofounder Diana Pereira and Mesa Burger’s Chris Chiarappa are partnering on a shared commercial kitchen in the former Samy’s Camera space at 530 State Street that will also have “a unique restaurant and retail experience.” Opening forecast: Fall.
In October, word came out that Low Pigeon was indeed moving forward on plans for a second café, in the Los Arcos multi-tenant space at Anacapa and Ortega, and while coffee would remain the focus, there would be food, too. Opening forecast: Unknown, but the interior still looks fairly raw. Requests for an update on the project’s status went unanswered.
As you read here first, Corazón Cocina’s Ramon Velazquez will open his third establishment—the second was the Corazón Cocina outpost at the Project in the Funk Zone—in the former Ca’Dario Pizzeria space at 29 E. Victoria Street. According to the website, Corazón Guisados will be “a fast casual restaurant concept featuring street tacos and Mexican food,” while its Instagram bio promises “homemade guisados, tamales and churros.” Epicurious defines guisado as “a term for something braised, stewy, homey, and delicious.” Opening forecast: The website says the restaurant is coming soon, but the liquor-license application was only recently submitted.
The restaurant at the Cabrillo Pavilion will be operated by the same company behind the Beachcomber at Crystal Cove in Orange County. From the Cabrillo Pavilion website: “La Sirena, the new restaurant at the Cabrillo Pavilion, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and operates a beachside snack bar seven days a week. Patrons enjoy traditional and trending fare, and La Sirena will open a full-service bar. With comfortable indoor and outdoor seating—and a mermaid motif reminiscent of its mythical namesake—La Sirena prides itself on providing an exceptional, family-friendly dining experience.” Opening forecast: The city’s Parks & Recreation Department has said that the building is ready; it’s just waiting for the pandemic to be over. But the interior is still raw like sushi.
The restaurant at the base of Amazon’s office at State and Carrillo will be the first outpost outside L.A. of Everytable, a chain with the noble mission of “making nutritious, fresh food affordable to all.” To achieve that, it charges more in well-off areas to subsidize meals in poorer communities. The food is standard desk fare—salads, bowls, and wraps, heavy on sliced or diced chicken breast—which is likely one reason that it postponed its opening, probably till workers return to their offices. Opening forecast: Unknown.
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