It’s spring, and there is new life blooming on San Vicente Boulevard. Alfred’s Coffee – across from CVS on San Vicente – has a new neighbor: “Joe and the Juice.”
All of a sudden, the southwest corner of San Vicente and Montana is hopping.
There is plenty of outdoor seating, and people are hanging out, checking their phones and typing away on their laptops. But mostly, people are actually talking, face-to-face. It feels almost European.
There is quite a bit of outdoor seating in Brentwood Village, but we need more on San Vicente, and it appears to be heading in that direction with the opening of the sandwich and salad place, Mendocino Farms, where Noah’s Bagels and Jamba Juice used to be.
At the recent grand opening, husband and wife co-founders Ellen Chen and Mario Del Pero promised Mendocino Farms will become a “neighborhood hangout,” where there will also be outside seating. Craft beer and wine will also be available at the eatery in the next few weeks.
Early World will soon be replaced by Jon & Vinny’s Pizza. We have plenty of good pizza places in Brentwood. I particularly like Maria’s and il Piccolo Verde in Brentwood Village, but I hear great things about Jon & Vinny’s, so I’ll be happy to drop in once the place opens.
It would also be great if something nice went into the Charlie Munger property, across from where Jon & Vinny’s will be. While I still like the idea of a retirement home, the proposed Green Hollow Square retail mall would have been far preferable to the now boarded-up and fenced-off Duttons building, and the big empty field to the west.
Had Green Hollow Square gone through, we would have had several nice amenities, including a good book store. That was always part of the plan. Charlie Munger was also willing to build a huge underground parking lot, that would have relieved parking pressure in the area. But opponents wore Munger down. The parking lot that used to exist behind Duttons is now largely fenced off, so there is even less parking than before.
As the old saying goes, “be careful what you wish for, you might actually get it.”
To that end – wishful thinking – I wish Rick Caruso would come in and buy up the Munger property and do something great with it. If, and when, that conversation begins, I hope all Brentwoodians treat Caruso with the respect Munger should have received.
A new Chinese restaurant, Gu Yi, just opened on the third floor of Brentwood Gardens, right above California Pizza Kitchen. This has always been a challenging location for restaurants. Pizzicotto is still hanging in, even as Peet’s Coffee, Gaucho Grill and Subway depart that stretch of San Vicente.
I still think we need a great Mexican restaurant. And a craft beer place. And a bookstore. And soon we’ll wish we had a newsstand, unless some miracle happens.
As the ancient Greeks noted, nothing is permanent except change – especially in Brentwood.