Take a walk down Memory Lane as we highlight some of our favorite moments from 2023
Dear Clients, Friends, and Colleagues,
Happy New Year! As we embark on a new chapter, Location Matters proudly reflects on a year of triumphs and growth in 2023. With 16 years dedicated to the retail and restaurant space, we continued our mission of connecting landlords with ideal tenants, helping real estate investors, restaurant owners and tenants find locations for sustained success.
Amidst the changing landscape, 2023 marked another year of successful deals and positive stories. From facilitating expansions of innovative restaurant concepts to executing prosperous investment transactions, our journey was filled with noteworthy achievements. As we turn the page to a new year, we invite you to stroll down Memory Lane with us and explore some of the standout moments that shaped the restaurant and retail scene throughout 2023.
Thank you for being a part of our continued success, and we look forward to another year of collaboration and prosperity.
Blue Ocean Sushi Opens Third San Diego Location in Westfield UTC Mall
Blue Ocean Sushi operated by local restaurateurs James and Jenny Pyo, marked its third San Diego location in February. The 4,434 square foot space, formerly Smokeyard BBQ & Chop Shop, underwent a transformation into a contemporary sushi eatery, with plans to open in Q4 of 2023. Owner and Executive Chef James Pyo, with 20 years of experience in Asian-American fusion cuisine, introduced a “F.U.N.” motto, creating menu items that are “Fun, unique, and nutritious.”
Iconic Studio Diner Secures Lease for Kearny Mesa Location
Represented Buyer & Seller
With the help of Location Matters, Studio Diner finalized a lease agreement for a 4,500 square foot restaurant space, marking a significant chapter for the iconic ‘40s-styled diner located in Kearny Mesa. With a two-decade history in the community, Studio Diner gained national acclaim through Guy Fieri’s Food Network series “Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives.” The diner, situated on the former lot of Stu Segall Productions, pays homage to its roots in both menu items and décor. Acquired by new owners Sal Ercolano and Gil Frank, both seasoned in the restaurant industry, Studio Diner’s brand is poised for continued success.
Angry Chickz Achieves Multi-City Expansion, Opening New Locations in Northern and Southern California
Angry Chickz embarked on an expansive expansion, opening multiple locations in Brentwood, San Jose, Thousand Oaks, Vallejo, Concord, and Aliso Viejo. The year kicked off with the signing of two leases —a 2,700 SF space in Brentwood, launched in mid-February, and a 1,963 SF store in San Jose. With these latest additions, Angry Chickz is on a dynamic growth trajectory, now proudly operating 24 locations across three states and showing no signs of slowing down. Notably, their Oceanside location, previously impacted by a neighboring tenant’s fire, successfully reopened to enthusiastic customers, evident in the long lines.
Craft House Secures Lease at Fashion Valley Mall
In March, Craft House sealed the deal on a lease for its new San Diego location. Originating from a 2016 food truck venture to their standout establishment at The Sky Deck in Del Mar, this new location is their next big stepping stone. Fusing New American and Mexican cuisine with a commitment to using local, all-natural ingredients, Craft House has become a culinary force. This Fashion Valley Mall location boasts a ground-level 1,907 SF restaurant space accompanied by a 720 SF patio.
Havana Grill Unveils Second Location at Westfield Mission Valley Mall
Havana Grill celebrated the grand opening of its second location in Westfield Mission Valley Mall. The expansion proved worth the anticipation, as the 3,334 SF build showcased intricate tilework, vaulted ceilings, foliage, streetlights, and lively music, successfully encapsulating the vibrant Cuban culture. Maintaining the essence of their flagship location, Havana Grill’s new restaurant offered delicious Cuban cuisine, with an expanded menu complementing the full bar and morning hours.
Wedgewood Weddings Expands Portfolio with New Venue at The Headquarters
Represented Landlord & Tenant
Wedgewood Weddings successfully closed on its new event venue at The Headquarters. The nation’s largest wedding venue provider transformed a 15,442 square feet space within The Headquarters at Seaport, a location originally built in 1939 as the San Diego Police HQ. The building, rebranded as a dynamic shopping, dining, and entertainment destination, now includes Wedgewood Weddings alongside notable anchors like Cheesecake Factory, Eddie V’s, and Puesto.
La Jolla Innovation Center Welcomes Bird Rock Coffee Roasters to Premier Intersection
Represented LANDLORD & Tenant
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters achieved a significant milestone last summer by closing on their new location at the premier intersection of La Jolla Village Drive and Villa La Jolla Drive. Situated at La Jolla Innovation Center, UCSD’s latest development set to be completed in Q4, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters will be the sole ground-floor retail establishment. This marks their second UCSD location, following a beautiful kiosk near the newly built Epstein Family Amphitheater. The 1,518 SF corner shell space will be brought to life with modern coastal aesthetics, creating a welcoming environment to serve their renowned direct trade coffee. The anticipated opening for students, staff, local businesses, and the public is set for Q1 2024.
Burger Lounge Expands with Two New Locations in Manhattan Beach and Pacific Highlands Ranch
In September, Burger Lounge expanded its footprint with the opening of two locations in Manhattan Beach and Pacific Highlands Ranch. Originally established in La Jolla in 2007, Burger Lounge has been on a journey, spreading its commitment to grass-fed burgers and organic ingredients in a fast-casual setting from San Diego to Sacramento. Location Matters maintains a robust and enduring partnership with Burger Lounge, serving as their trusted representative in numerous deals, facilitating their ongoing expansion initiatives. Their Manhattan Beach storefront, secured through a newly signed lease, represents the brand’s first presence in this coveted area and its 9th in LA County. Spanning 1,820 SF on Hwy 1, the restaurant space boasts high visibility and ample parking.
The Cottage Continues Expansion, Secures Lease for Del Mar Plaza Location
The Cottage, a beloved brunch spot in La Jolla for three decades, signed a lease to further expand its footprint in Del Mar. Known for mastering the blend of traditional American and Southern California cuisine within a contemporary Victorian ambiance, The Cottage successfully opened its second location in Encinitas the previous year. Now, with plans for a new venture, The Cottage opened at Del Mar Plaza in Spring 2023. The restaurant, occupying a 1,987 SF ground-floor space with an outside patio along Camino Del Mar, aims to recreate its signature dining experience in this picturesque location.
Escondido’s 340 W. Grand Ave. Secures New Owner for Revitalized Dining Experience in 2024
In November, 340 W. Grand Ave. in Escondido was sold at its full asking price of $2,200,000. This 3,960 SF restaurant, situated on a 14,191 SF lot was formerly occupied by La Tapatia. The new owner, Los Angeles-based Mexican restaurant Kalaveras, is scheduled to reopen the establishment in 2024. The property’s allure lies in its strategic location on Grand Avenue, an exclusive parking lot, and an entertainment license for live music.
In October 2023, Location Matters welcomed Laurenne Mills to their team as the Operations Manager. In her capacity as Operations Manager, she plays a pivotal role in supporting the team’s growth, contributing in various capacities to ensure the continued success of Location Matters.