Business Roundup

Malibu is most famous for its beautiful beaches and waterfront homes, but a few restaurants are aiming to attract the discriminating foodie, while new clothing stores aim to attract fashion enthusiasts.

Tavern 1

Billed as the only barbecue restaurant in town, Tavern 1 seeks to smoke out the competition, Southern-style. At this point, there’s only one thing stopping the new restaurant, located in the former La Costa Mission, from opening its doors in Malibu.

“We’re ready to open at any time. We’re just waiting on our liquor license to be processed,” Marco Gonzalez, owner of Tavern 1, said.

The restaurant will also offer other dishes, including hamburgers, steak and healthy options.

What separates Tavern 1 from other area barbecue joints, Gonzalez said, is the traditional Southern style employed to cook the meat.

“We cook our meats Southern style, which is to say that the meat is smoked for hours to get that rich, smokey, traditional flavor,” Gonzalez explained.

Malibu Farm

Located at the far end of the Malibu Pier, Malibu Farm has served breakfast and lunch for the past two years, and has expanded up the pier to the space vacated by the recently-shuttered Malibu Pier Restaurant, to offer dinner, speedier service and a full bar.

First opened in September 2013, Malibu Farm is a go-to spot for locals and tourists alike, but its original location at the far end of the pier hampered additional capacity.

“The cafe is too small of a space for our high volume,” Helene Henderson, owner of Malibu Farm, said.

When the Malibu Pier Restaurant closed shop, Henderson decided to expand to that location on the near side of the pier. The new location not only offered an outdoor patio area and expanded space, but also offered an increase in efficiency.

“The new location will help the original cafe by adding additional kitchen capacity to the cafe,”  Henderson explained.

Menu items will be similar to the cafe’s selection, but with the addition of a full bar, additional seafood items, including sashimi, oysters and mussels, and table service. 

Sunlife Organics

Malibu-based Sunlife Organics opened its second Malibu location inside Malibu Country Mart last month.

Malibu residents Khalil Rafati and Hayley Gorcey first started serving organic smoothies, juices and açaí bowls from their Sunlife Organics store in Western Malibu back in 2011, and have since expanded to two other Los Angeles-area locations. By partnering with Malibu Country Mart, Sunlife Organics seeks to bring product selections to the center’s health-conscious customer base.

“Sunlife Organics is the perfect addition to the Malibu Country Mart’s culinary offerings … we are certain our community will embrace Sunlife Organics presence on property,” Michael Koss, General Partner of the Malibu Country Mart, said in a statement.

The Ranch

The future of the The Ranch, a restaurant located on PCH in Solstice Canyon, is uncertain after it closed due to various city ordinance and conditional use permit (CUP) violations.

The Ranch closed in March 2015 while the Malibu Planning Commission was reviewing the restaurant’s CUP. The commission found that the restaurant had violated its permit by having outdoor seating, exterior lighting that was not compliant with the permit and signage that did not comply with city zoning ordinances.

Not long after meeting the commission, the restaurant ceased operations in April 2015 and has been unoccupied since, according to the city’s planning commission agenda report.

There have been no reports of the restaurant reopening. 

Coco Consign

From 19th century dresses to paintings by local up-and-coming artists, Coco Consign seeks to bring art and fashion pieces to Malibu.

Coco Consign is a high-end consignment store that carries a mix of vintage and new items. 

“Everything is unique here. We carry high-end designers such as Tiffany and we have things from different eras,” Liza Whitcraft, one of the owners of Coco Consign, said.

Whitcraft opened the store on July 25 with her longtime friend and business partner, Kristin Nelson. Combining Whitcraft’s experience in interior and costume design with Nelson’s experience in jewelry, the duo combines talent to bring fashionable items to their customers in Malibu.

As a consignment store, Coco Consign and the cosigner will agree on the sale price of a consigned item. The cosigner will receive 50 percent of the final selling price. After 90 days, the item will either be discounted, recycled or donated, according to their website.

Although the store is open for business, Coco Consign will host a joint grand opening with neighboring newly-opened businesses some time near the end of August, though dates and plans are tentative.

Retail store closures

RadioShack in the Cross Creek location has shuttered its doors, and Banana Republic is rumored to be ready to follow suit as well, though employees refuse to comment on the hearsay.

At Monday’s Planning Commission meeting, Ted Baker, a UK-based clothing retailer, had its request for a formula retail conditional use permit recommended for approval, and could be opening shop in the Malibu Country Mart soon.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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