Crack Shack, the San Diego-based fried chicken chain once manned by celebrity chef Richard Blais and run by CEO Michael Rosen, is leaving Los Angeles. Eater has confirmed that the company’s Pasadena location had its final day of service last Sunday, June 27. What’s more, the Westside location at the Westfield Century City mall will also close as of this Thursday, July 1, ending a nearly three-year run.
“The Crack Shack has been proud to serve the communities of Pasadena and Century City through ongoing dine-out nights with local non-profit organizations, donating to local school events, delivering sandwiches to nursing homes and, throughout COVID, providing safe meals to front line workers,” reps for the company say, adding: “We have re-designed The Crack Shack prototype, and have plans to explore other markets with smaller real estate footprints in the coming months.” The company’s website lists future locations in Colorado and Utah, and still enjoys outlets in Orange County and the San Diego area.
The quiet closure of a once-budding local name shows just how hard this moment continues to be for so many restaurants, particularly those saddled with debt from a year-plus of the pandemic. As the Hollywood Reporter notes this week, restaurants large and small continue to struggle with lots of unknown variables after the state’s broad reopening, from details about the viability of their outdoor space to ongoing unknowns about the consumer appetite for takeout and delivery.
In other news:
- Heading north for the weekend? So is Redbird. The Fraser crew is heading to the Ojai Valley Inn for a five-course Fourth of July dinner at the property’s farmhouse kitchen.
- Porto’s has reopened for indoor dining in Glendale. The Cuban institution had long lines for its drive-thru pickups during the pandemic, but is now ready to return to on-site eating.
- Not that anyone needed a reason to drink this summer, but for those that do Sage Vegan Bistro has it all covered. Here’s their lineup of daily summer booze specials.
- Popular and historic Santa Monica house turned hospitality complex the Victorian has rebranded, complete with a design refresh and a new chef. Now it’s all about the Beach Club vibes, including all-day service, drinks, a burger, lobster roll, and more.
- SteelCraft in Garden Grove has a new restaurant to know about called La Taqueria. The dining and retail compound will begin a summer culture series that features talks, food demos, live entertainment, and more from specific groups. The first runs July 24 from noon to 8 p.m., with a focus on the greater AAPI community.
- Here’s your chance to get a special brisket pizza collaboration between the Moo’s Craft Barbecue and Speak Cheezy teams – and on the Westside no less. It’s all thanks to Biite Club and goes down at Deus Ex Machina this weekend.