A Mexican gastropub in Orange, a posh bakery in Corona del Mar and a three-decade old Mimi’s Cafe in Costa Mesa have closed in Orange County.
Here’s the latest on these and other permanent closures:
• Who Song and Larry's, an edgy Mexican gastropub by Cypress-based Real Mex Restaurants, closed its location in Orange this week.
The restaurant’s lease was expiring at the end of February. “We were not able to reach an agreement with the landlord,” the company said in a statement. “We believe in the brand and will keep it alive in Vancouver. Every employee has the opportunity to continue with Real Mex Restaurants.”
In 2014, Real Mex converted the former Acapulco restaurant at the Stadium Promenade on Katella Avenue to the Mexican gastropub. The indie concept appeared to be one of the few bright spots in the company’s large Mexican dining portfolio. Sales at Who Song were up 27 percent last year, following a 30 percent increase in 2015.
Over the last few years, Real Mex has closed several of its core brands – Chevys, Acapulco and El Torito. As it closes under performing stores, the company also has invested capital in revamping each brand. Last fall, Real Mex unveiled remodels at locations in Downey, Northridge and Redondo Beach. Real Mex also plans to double in size by acquiring a new concept.
• Sweet Lady Jane, a Los Angeles bakery popular with the Hollywood elite, shuttered its only Orange County outlet. The Corona del Mar bakery closed last week.
In a statement on its website, the bakery thanked the community for its support.
“Loyalty from customers like you has meant so much to us at Sweet Lady Jane. It is with much respect that we inform you we are in the process of re-evaluating our retail store location in the Newport area. Effective immediately, we will be closing our doors at 3732 East Coast Highway in Corona Del Mar.”
The West Hollywood institution, founded by Jane Lockhart, is known for its elegant party and wedding cakes. She opened the Corona del Mar location in September 2015 because she said she had a lot of clients driving to her Los Angeles shops from coastal Orange County. The bakery, on Pacific Coast Highway, also served breakfast and lunch
• Mimi's Cafe in Costa Mesa closed Dec. 19, 2016. In a statement to the Register, the casual dining chain said the company was "unable to arrive at a mutually beneficial lease arrangement and made the tough business decision to close our Costa Mesa location." The restaurant has been operating on Newport Boulevard since 1985.
• Two Subway restaurants have closed in Irvine. The sandwich shops were at the Walnut Village Center and the Crossroads shopping center in Irvine. A representative for the Irvine Company said both closures were due to lease expirations -- one was underperforming and the other had an owner who wanted to retire. The Irvine Co. has not announced any replacements.
• Souplantation: The Mesa Verde Center Souplantation closed in Costa Mesa because the restaurant lost its lease "as the landlord plans to redo the center," a spokesman for the chain told the Register Tuesday morning. Regular diners at the Souplantation were sent an email blast last week stating the buffet restaurant had closed. It referred diners to other salad bar locations in Fountain Valley, Tustin and Irvine. The closure comes four months after the San Diego parent company of Souplantation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. ended up closing 20 restaurants after the filing. None of the closures were in the greater Los Angeles area, Orange County and Inland Empire.
At the time, the company said its Southern California locations perform well. A representative for Souplantation said the Costa Mesa closure was isolated. There are no other plans to close other locations.
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