Over the last few months, we’ve noticed a lot of changes on busy La Brea Ave., between Beverly and Pico, and this seemed like a good time to catch up with some of the comings and goings. Moving from south to north…
1302 S. La Brea – Sprouts Farmers Market
As we reported a while back, the new development at the SE corner of La Brea and San Vicente will soon be home to a small Target store, a Sprouts Farmers Market and at least one other business (we’ve heard a couple of different rumors about that tenant, but have not been able to confirm its identity yet). The first one of these – Sprouts – opened on July 10. The Sprouts chain (there’s another at 915 N. La Brea), specializes in fresh produce, meats and seafoods, along with other health-oriented prepared foods, groceries and other products. If you’re visiting for the first time, it’s worth noting that there are two entrances to the new complex – a driveway off La Brea that goes to an underground garage (where an elevator takes you up to the Sprouts store level), and a driveway off San Vicente, which goes to two upper-level parking areas. You’ll find the main Sprouts entrance on the first of those levels. The complex’s Target store was holding a hiring event when we stopped by yesterday, and the chain’s website confirms that new store is still scheduled to open later this year. (Another, slightly larger, Target is scheduled to open in the old OSH building, at 415 S. La Brea, in 2020.)
800 S. La Brea – Firestone
Back in 2017, plans were announced for a new brew pub and food hall at the old, Art-Deco-Style Firestone automotive repair shop, which was named a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument in 2012. Not much has happened since then, but it appears that construction on the project has now finally begun. The owners have been applying for a bunch of building permits since early this year, the most recent of which, for kitchen layouts and venting equipment, were issued this month.
759 S. La Brea – Met Her at a Bar
No, the neighborhood favorite breakast/brunch/waffle spot isn’t new…but its dinner service, now in a soft-open stage, is. According to the restaurant’s Instagram feed, the offerings are Thai tapas, based on recipes from co-owner Mindy Mook and her mother. Wine and beer are also available.
201 S. La Brea – Cafe Verona
This longtime La Brea staple, which provided a sheltered oasis of plants, fountains and intimate dining space at the SW corner of 2nd and La Brea for 19 years, has closed its doors. According to the restaurant’s website, there are plans to re-open in a new location…but there’s no information on where or when, and the Buzz’s inquiries have so far gone unanswered. For now, it looks like the old space is in the process of being reclaimed by the Valvoline oil change business that it was originally part of.
135 S. La Brea – Casa La Brea
This retail and office building has recently emerged from a major renovation, with at least one storefront still available. It’s a whole different look, though, from the old version, seen here in a Google Maps photo from 2016:
133 S. La Brea – Neighborhood Los Angeles
A new tenant in the Casa La Brea building is Neighborhood Los Angeles, a cheery, minimalist, coffee, tea and cashew-based vegan ice cream shop that opened this spring. We stopped in yesterday and learned that the business provides a 10% discount to area residents…and they don’t take cash, so make sure you come prepared with a credit card, Apple Pay or other mobile payment option. (Oh, and we can definitely recommend the mint chip ice cream!)
127 S. La Brea – Odys & Penelope
Odys & Penelope, the well-regarded “modern American churrasco and grill ” restaurant from Karen and Quinn Hatfield, closed this month. Foodies will be interested to note, however, that EaterLA reports the restaurant was sold to “Workshop Kitchen, perhaps the best and most identifiable modern restaurant in Palm Springs,” which is expected to open in the La Brea space in 2020. Also according to the Eater story:
“Karen Hatfield says that the decision to sell was “not driven by the economics of the restaurant,” but rather that her and partner Quinn Hatfield are simply “ready to move into a new direction artistically.” For now they’ll be taking time off, but with an eye towards a new opening of some kind next year.”
100 S. La Brea – Nick Metropolis
If you’ve noticed things look a bit, well…empty…at the formerly filled-to-the-gills Nick Metropolis shop at the SE corner of 1st and La Brea, don’t worry — the store isn’t dead, but it has relocated, to 1846 W. Adams Blvd. We stopped in at the new location yesterday and chatted with Metropolis, who says he’s been open at the new spot for about six weeks now and has great plans for the space, which was, most recently, home to a small church. Metropolis, who was a fixture on La Brea for 27 years, said many of his old customers have already found him at the new site, and because a large share of his business comes from entertainment industry prop suppliers, who are used to going wherever they need to for specific items, moving shouldn’t diminish his trade. And relocating has an upside, too, said Metropolis — he’s particularly thrilled with the larger indoor space at the new location, as well as the lower rent. And there’s still a large outdoor area, too, which already holds the familiar jumble of signage, oddities and one-of-a-kind items the store is famous for.