Business Round-up

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 the fashion enthusiasts.

Tavern 1

Billed as the only BBQ restaurant in town, Tavern 1 seeks to build on a locals-focused atmosphere and smoke out the competition, Southern-style. As of July, 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,” said Marco Gonzalez, owner of Tavern 1.

Tavern 1 is the only restaurant in Malibu to focus on BBQ as its main course, though the restaurant will offer other all-American dishes such as hamburgers and steak. There will be menu items for the health conscious as well.

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

“Take, for example, Wood Ranch. Their BBQ is what is commonly referred to as California-style BBQ. The meat is cooked in an oven and then finished with BBQ sauce on a grill,” Gonzalez said. “We cook our meats Southern-style, which is to say that the meat is smoked for hours to get that rich, smokey, traditional flavor.”

The Malibu Farm

Located at the far end of the Malibu Pier, the Malibu Farm has served breakfast and lunch for the past two years but has recently 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, the Malibu Farm has quickly become the 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,” said Helene Henderson, owner of the Malibu Farm.

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,” said Henderson.

Menu items will be similar to the cafe’s California-style offerings, but with the addition of a full bar, additional seafood items, such as 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 its unique product selections to Malibu Country Mart’s unique 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,” said Michael Koss, General Partner of the Malibu Country Mart, in a press release.

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 ceased operations 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 the meeting with 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.

Retail Store Closures

Radio Shack in the Cross Creek location has shuttered its doors while Banana Republic is rumored to be ready to follow suit as well, though employees refuse to comment on the hearsay. In the upcoming planning commission meeting, Ted Baker, a UK-based clothing retailer, will have its request for a formula retail conditional use permit reviewed.

Coco Consign

From 19th century dresses to paintings by local up-and-coming artists, Coco Consign is a unique store that seeks to bring the most uncommon and beautiful 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. ” said Liza Whitcraft, one of the owners of Coco Consign.

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 jewelery, the duo combine their talents to bring the most 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 consigner will receive 50% of the final selling price. After 90 days, the item will be either discounted, recycled or donated, according to their website.

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

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

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