Focusing this week entirely on SLO PUBLIC MARKET, as completion nears and many openings pending. The owners have announced TWELVE new restaurants expected to open mid-November and 90% of businesses open by December 11. Orange Theory Fitness and Tractor Supply have been open for some time, and PARKER CLAY opening yesterday. Despite my dreary post concerning the then-potential tenants in May of last year, things have REALLY changed–for the better–with a couple anchor swicheroos happening and a massive addition of dining establishments. I am going to post this in the same format as my previous post, comparing our new public market to the now long-open PASO MARKET WALK–which continues to grow–and also still including SANTA BARBARA PUBLIC MARKET and OXBOW in Napa, which I consider the standard by which all markets of this kind should be judged, both of which my readers visit regularly. But my oh my how things have changed!
First of all, Santa Barbara seems to have shrunk by at least one vendor. There was a grocery right there at one entrance which seems to have disappeared–and as I recall, didn’t a small market occupy the original location BEFORE the expansion? It is not easily the smallest of the four, with 7 shops–ALL food and beverage.
Napa also has seen some transitions, but the core attractions: Hog Island, the cheese & wine shop, Hudson’s meat and Fatted Calf still the soul of the place. I heavily recommend ANYONE even REMOTELY into food and wine pay OXBOW a visit when in the area. You can literally spend HOURS there just window-shopping, if nothing else. I can spend an hour in the Fatted Calf ALONE!
Paso has flushed out several empty spaces, there is lodging available in their Lofts, and two new anchor restaurants–at opposite ends–have developed. FINCA is allegedly open, and IN BLOOM pending. I’ve had the ramen a couple times, have been VERY impressed with the wine-shop’s selection of not-commonly-marketed selections, and drooled over the bakery’s offerings. It appears a nursery has been added (remember: this was the original Hometown Nursery location) and several other things since my last visit.
Which brings us to SLO. And I must say, things are REALLY looking good for the local dining scene. TWELVE new restaurants–YOU READ THAT, RIGHT??–and it just goes on and on, pretty much blowing the other three out of the water in terms of pure dining variety. Three *fitness* situations, a salon and TRACTOR SUPPLY clearly the outliers in the ‘public market’ atmosphere, but I’m not complaining. I’ve actually been shopping a LOT at Tractor Supply lately. Great variety of stuff, nice people and customer service, and it’s a nice mid-point between going up to Miner’s or out to Home Depot.
Really looking forward to a BUNCH of paper coming off windows in the next few weeks. WE HAVE A PUBLIC MARKET!!!