By Pam Fitzpatrick
Last week I was commenting that nothing much was happening with Old Town businesses as far as opening (or closing), and that very day I saw a coupon for a major name/business change in the 500 block. Obviously I missed this one: looks like Salad Bistro is now “1776” an “All American Gastropub & Sports Bar!” If you go online you can get a coupon at localcouponhub.net that will give you 50 percent off your total bill when you dine in. My coupon has been sitting on my desk for a week and the color pictures are making me hungry – hamburgers, pizza, wings and beer. What? No more kale salad for me……I’ll have to go in and check it out!
And……another restaurant just opened right outside of Old Town at the Paragon (in the front, bottom floor) called “Sharkie Poke.” Owner Sonny Ta says poke bowls are not just a Hawaiian thing anymore. And, what you ask is a poke bowl?” The Huffington Post describes this concoction as a “culinary conundrum that few on the continental U. S. can pronounce.” It’s poh-keh, by the way, and it’s made up of fish, rice, vegetables and tons of other delicious choices. Poke is trending in the major cities right now and has finally come to Old Town!
I checked up on “Frost” (aka “Frost My Cake”) where Monrovia Bakery lived for years, and our Planning Department says “almost” – just some finishing touches and some inspections, and it’s a bakery again! Now, north to the 300 block, and let’s talk about the old 4th Dimension site. The new owner of the building is thrilled to be in Old Town, and we are more than thrilled to have him here. The front of the building will be retail/restaurant use (according to code for the Historic District), and the back of the building will house the owner’s own business. I don’t know the name of the business, but I know it’s a firm that trains the auto industry and they will bring lots of business to Old Town. I can hardly wait to meet them!
Street fair is going strong, but at this time of year it’s slower and not so heavily attended. We have our Dr. Adam Kendall and his piano back on the south end towards Paragon, so that’s good news. This Friday may rain us out, so let’s see… The carriage rides on Sunday and Thursday evenings in Old Town are a big hit, with the Sunday rides sold out fairly fast so it’s wise to get there by 3 p.m. to sign up. The carolers are extremely popular and I’m seeing video posts with lots of positive comments. This Saturday we will have our annual Free Gift Wrap Station in the 400 block where folks can bring their purchases (made in Old Town or not in Old Town – no matter!) wrapped free of charge.
This morning the Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board tentatively approved a filming set for mid-January. It’s a Disney film called “Magic Camp,” and it should be wonderful PR for our town – not to mention the dollars that a film crew brings to the City and to the merchants. We’ll be looking forward to this one! We also had an inquiry about an Allstate Commercial featuring their “Mayhem” character, so let’s see if that one happens in the near future.
So far we’ve had five Santa Breakfasts throughout Old Town, with four more to come this Saturday: Peach Café at 8 a.m. (sold out, I think); Monrovian Family Restaurant at 9 a.m.; Jake’s Roadhouse at 10:15 a.m., and Rudy’s Mexican Restaurant at 11 a.m. I don’t know of any other city that does this with free gifts to each child and a photo with Santa. I love my Monrovia!