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Santa Monica's Cafe Röckenwagner Loss is Lemonade's Gain

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The Arizona Ave. property swaps one casual concept for another.

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

There’s always something happening with Röckenwagner, the local chain of bakeries and cafes and bakery/cafes and cafekeries that mostly cling to the Westside. In this case, it’s the quiet closure of the Santa Monica location, which shuttered in the fall and is now under construction to reemerge as a Lemonade.

Previous kerfuffles have seen the heralded pastry chef from the Brentwood location leave for greener pastures, while other locations have come and gone along the way. But as Toddrickallen noted last week, there’s more life to be wrung out of the location on Arizona Avenue, as signage for another Lemonade now hangs in the window.

It’s a funny about-face for the space, which replaces one fast casual local chain concept for another. In Lemonade, guests can expect simple California cuisine dishes done up in an almost cafeteria style, with options to pick and choose from a wide assortment of offerings. Röckenwagner wasn’t quite so grab and go, but the notion remains. Still, it’s a boon for weekend Santa Monica shoppers who frequent the area. So far, no word on a go-live date.