06 August 2008

ready, set...

...and we're off! On July 14th, 2008, Mark and Elliot signed a 3-year lease (with two additional 3-year options) to the building at 12034 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. Previously known as La Taqueria Chihuahua, the little yellow shop is a stand-alone structure in an up-and-coming neighborhood that bridges Culver City, Venice and Mar Vista/Santa Monica (all cultural/food hotspots on the West Side). It's also literally around the corner from the Mar Vista farmer's market on Sundays, where we'll open a booth at some point to sell paninis (or something) and reach out to the community.

Unbelievably, almost a month has flown by since they put their names on the dotted line. Since then, we've christened the place with a few family dinners... demolished the front door and ceiling, to expose the wooden roof beams... sold a bunch of the kitchen equipment, and "auditioned" various vendors for the right replacements (like the Rationale and the Alto-Shaam "Combis" and the Cook-Hold-n'-Smoker). I'm still working full time on Dr. G, but doing what I can to help with decision-making on design, construction materials, color palette, etc etc.

Working with us on both the design and construction front is Stefan, a woodwork artist who Elliot befriended when fixing his car (Elliot is a mechanical genius).

More to come, but that's the big update for now. The original Venice location on Abbott Kinney Blvd. went to Le Pain Quotidien, a national chain -- and though the building owner was bending over backwards to bring us into the space (even knocking down the wall to create a bigger space), the costs involved in putting in a brand new kitchen and all the permits and engineering maneuvers that would require just didn't all add up. (Or added up to too much, I suppose.) The Santa Monica location never made up their mind which of their three top contenders, including us, they wanted to pick. And then one day, Mark saw the Taqueria up for sale on Craig's List. And so the story begins....

We're hoping to open in mid-September. A very aggressive schedule, no doubt -- that's 31 days from now! I could eat a different flavor at Baskin Robbins' every day and we should be open by the time I've gone though the list. Though they must come out with new flavors every month too. Hmmm.

P.S. That storefront graphic is not supposed to be blue...but I give up...

1 comment:

anna wolfe said...

Hi Mark and Elliott, I was thinking about you guys and wondering how your store was coming along. I googled you and here I am on your blog. What an undertaking. Please keep me in the loop. I'd love to write about it for Gourmet News & my blog.

All the best,

Anna Wolfe