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Loteria Grill Closes at Bustling (and Expensive) Third Street Promenade

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The casual Mexican chain is looking to reformat

Loteria Grill, Santa Monica
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.

Another loss for Santa Monica today, as it looks like chef Jimmy Shaw’s famed Loteria Grill is calling it quits. The once-bustling address right on Third Street Promenade no longer seems to fit into Shaw’s business model plans, as the Mexican chef wants to refocus on a more sustainable quick service model.

Reached via email, Shaw confirmed the immediate shutter in a lengthy notice that touches on some of the very practical issues currently facing restaurants around town, particularly in high-rent areas like Santa Monica and Downtown Culver City. Particular to Santa Monica, nearby tenants Border Grill also vacated their space after a long 26-year run, with plans to possibly reopen as a different, more fast casual option in the area down the line. Shaw says:

This past weekend we made the tough decision to close the doors of Lotería Santa Monica. There's never a good time for a closure, but there were several factors which made this the best timing. While we hate to close any of our restaurants in the wonderful communities we have called home, we're part of a trend of closures, joining fellow restaurant owners who have also recently closed popular Santa Monica eateries. We are grateful to our amazing staff, our guests and our landlord who supported us at this beautiful restaurant.

Shaw also speaks to his future business plans, after also shuttering his Studio City location not long ago. He adds:

Moving forward, we are continuing to adjust our business model in this changing world and restaurant landscape where sit-down dining costs continue to skyrocket. We're going to our roots of simpler service which we have done so well at the Original Farmers Market, Downtown and LAX, with future restaurants following the model of our Original Farmers Market gem, where it all began. Meanwhile, Hollywood remains our flagship full-service Loteria.

As noted above, Loteria Grills remain at the Original Farmers Market (which is still undoubtedly their most popular location) as well as Downtown, LAX, and the sit-down restaurant in Hollywood.