Right on cue, it looks like Plan Check is ready for another location. The ultra-popular burger and beer spot first launched on Sawtelle several years ago, and has since jumped to Fairfax and even Downtown — with a fourth location in Old Town Pasadena still to come — but news today reveals a fifth location in Santa Monica is in the works.
The upscaled gastropub concept may have cooled off some in the past couple of years, but Plan Check’s dominance in the market continues unabated. Chef Ernesto Uchimura, who previously helped develop the early menus for Umami Burger, has managed to blend high-end ingredients and hip vibes with a casual clientele and strong drinks list, making each current location a standout in its own way.
The team now hopes to recreate their three-peat success with their new location in Santa Monica on Ocean Avenue, overlooking the beach below. Plan Check co-owner Terry Heller told National Restaurant News that he’d already signed a lease for the space next to Robata Bar and Sushi Roku, and that the upcoming outpost will offer a few tweaks to the standard menu — namely with a more seafood-heavy focus and reliance on the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market.
It should be an interesting new look for Plan Check, which until now has been focused on mostly neighborhood business. This new space, Heller says, will carry roughly the same footprint as the Sawtelle location, but should do a very brisk business with the tourists pouring out from the pier.
Heller also goes on to talk about the scalable nature of Plan Check, which has always been envisioned as a small empire, with locations across the Southland and potentially beyond. The Pasadena location has been in the works since October of last year, but got caught up in some snags with the city over their patio space, which was scheduled to sit on an alleyway that may go under heavy construction soon.