As I have documented on my IG stories, Vegetable Butcher has papered their windows, and several times this week driving by have seen the door open and signs of drywall and painting going on inside–along with crates of boxed goods. Haven’t stopped in to snoop, but this will be interesting. Saint’s Barrel has fully opened in the former Luis location, adding another wine-tasting location to downtown alongside Ragtag and Dunites. SLO 201 Kitchen or something along those lines has opened in the troubled spot on Higuera next to the Van’s factory store and across the street from the recently-shuttered Ross. Also on Garden, SLO Delicious Bakery has gorgeous desserts and breakfast-pastry-fare, along with savory sandwiches. Over on Marsh, a new creperie has opened in the ole Jeff Classen spot. The artist formerly known as Oasis has papered windows and building permits posted. Highwater SLO–Robin from Hatch–promises “early 2022 opening” in the former Sidecar spot.
One of my highest aspirations for downtown–Cider Bar–has officially morphed to a quesadilla chain, ending a faltering significance to Creamery Marketplace that started off with a bang and deteriorated quickly. Speaking of Creamery Marketplace: is Bear and the Wren even ever OPEN??? Mistura and Mama’s Meatball continues to kill it; the Ciopinot/La Esquina switcheroo maintains their classic *yawn*, and the whole courtyard seems to have lost any potential flair. I actually thought this was gonna be a blockbuster destination.
Out in Morro Bay, Milane’s still hasn’t moved to their new digs on Front Street, Harbor Hut remains close for remodeling. The armpit most recently branded as Off The Hook got taken to bare earth Tuesday (was that Fish Bowl?) and the big question remains: WHY didn’t the wrecking ball accidentally take Libertine with it? 3 Stacks & a Rock (which will soon be minus it’s three stacks) continues hard renovations in the building formerly housing the “saddest aquarium in the United States”, and THAT will be a refreshing opening. Across the street at the old Harada, a name-change has happened to the young Umi placement, and I have not researched any changes. Oh ya, and up in Cayucos, Russell’s Smokehouse closed, making a lot of people sad–but no one I really ever want to dine with.
Back down in SLO, Farmhouse Corner Market closed, TASTE is moving way south on Broad, and SLO Public Market–while *officially* fully open–remains a bit of a ghost-town in terms of fully-functioning dining-destination. The rumor also is: Monterey street will become permanently pedestrian–possibly from Blue to the Mission. THAT will be interesting. Oasis’ parklet (or was that Mark’s???) was also removed this week, and KULT’s (or half of Park’s–however you look at it) is slated for removal. Frog & Peach’s remains the most unnecessary on the block and needs to go, along with Tiki’s. ALLLLL of them need to go. Paso removed the last of theirs this week. Arroyo Grande’s remains winner though for biggest eye-sores. Meanwhile, Doc Bernsteins in SLO just finished a BRAND NEW ONE!!! Talk about a step BACK.
Speaking of public markets, the Templeton Market seems to have a couple eateries open and Paso Market Walk has at least one of their end-anchor major restaurants running. Maybe both. Haven’t investigated. In Atascadero, another wine-bar has opened, and Grape Encounters has changed ownership. A&W on 41 is closing after 30 years, and I’m not sure where the nearest remaining location is? La Bodega in Pismo is for sale for 750–might be just a tad optimistic, Ventura got a Black Bear Diner–to the unsustainable glee of the FaceBook-Foodie set, Spencer Johnston established a brick & mortar for Danior Catering, and even has *chef’s table* dining experiences on-going monthly.
Be glad you got into Bell’s when you did, because now–with their Michelin star–you have to fight off porn-stars for a spot at the bar. Our little haven’s all growed up! Blast & Brew in Pismo??? Around the corner in Grover, BeeHouse has taked over Sister Kitchen Thai, and two other Thai spots have changed names recently–SLO and Atascadero. Down the block, Ribline has shuttered the GB location and popped up nearly across the street–taking over 3 Fat Guys at the red tavern. So there’s one less brisket in town. Ribline’s chef-concept The Switch continues at their anchor location on LOVR in the Black Bear Center–with the location up on Broad long closed.
One of the earliest-closing, longest-running, and most-cautious pandemic-participant: Mee Heng Low, is back open for lunch Thursday-Sunday and has re-opened the upstairs for dining on weekends, but no live music yet. Also, his out-the-window bao programme has earned a permanent spot on the daily menu, though lunch-availability might be pushin it. Kimberly Walker has replaced Nourish–next door to Granada–with Next Door At Granada.
Up in Cayucos, there’s a new coffee shop, and down at the Pismo Coast RV Resort, Rock & Roll Diner (of Oceano and Greek food fame) has taken over management of (my personal secret dining spot in the area) PCV Grill–and the gyro and souvlaki remain on the menu, naturally. Maybe they always were in charge? The Branzino building in SLO is empty again. Gee, maybe we’ll get another weed-shop.