We often report on commercial comings and goings in our Larchmont (and wider) neighborhood…but while it seems like we’ve said a lot of goodbyes recently, this time we’re focusing on hellos, since there seem to be a lot of new businesses in the works suddenly (maybe the new year is just the time for new leases and big announcements). Here’s a quick list of things we’re keeping our eyes on:
Jamba Juice, which shuttered its old Larchmont location (158 N. Larchmont Blvd.) just last year, will re-open soon at 122 N. Larchmont Blvd.
The Essex Wilshire/La Brea development (SE corner of Wilshire and La Brea), where Lassen’s Natural Foods and Vitamins opened just about a year ago, and the brand new Commerson restaurant is racking up some nice reviews, is also planning a couple more new openings in the not-too distant future. First is a BevMo! beverage retailer in a large space fronting on Wilshire, and the second is a new restaurant called The Hungry Trader on the La Brea side, north of Lassen’s. BevMo!, which will take advantage of one of the development’s three liquor licenses, is currently in the process of meeting with Sycamore Square-area neighbors and will likely make a more public presentation to the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council soon. The Hungry Trader, which will serve Arabian, Indian and Asian “street food from the Orient,” is being launched with the help of The Next Idea, a self-described “international hospitality and restaurant consulting group,” which counts among its clients Paris Baguette, Eggslut, and Steak ‘n’ Shake (among many others).
Meanwhile, just slightly outside our usual coverage area, but definitely of local/regional interest, actor Danny Trejo (of Hollywood and Trejo’s Tacos fame), is opening the new Trejo’s Coffee and Donuts in a small stand-alone space in the parking lot of a mini-mall at the NE corner of Highland and Santa Monica. According to food blog EaterLA, this one may be open by the end of February.
And, finally, a bit further south and definitely the biggest of the bunch, a City Target (the smaller, more “flexible”-sized version of Target stores, designed for urban neighborhoods), Sprouts Farmer’s Market and two restaurant spaces are planned for a new development at the SE corner of La Brea and San Vicente. Representatives will be presenting the project to the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council at its monthly meeting on Monday, February 6 (7 p.m. at Union, 4067 W. Pico Blvd., 90019).
According to Daphne Brogdon, president of the Longwood Highlands Area Neighborhood Association (LANA), neighbors have been told by City Council Member Herb Wesson’s office that the Target/Sprouts project will be “by right” (meaning no special permissions, entitlements or variances are needed to proceed), but the developers are seeking to be “good neighbors” by presenting their plans to, and seeking input from, the local community. Brogdon says the project will be “a very big deal” for the neighborhood, though she does have some initial concerns about parking, traffic, landscaping and potential trash problems, which she looks forward to discussing with the developers. Brogdon said the project will remove the old Citizen Collision auto repair building on La Brea, and others near it, but it will not affect neighborhood favorite Pips restaurant, which is further south.