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It’s Been a Very Bumpy Ride for Highland Park’s Newest Pizza Place

Plus, restaurant news along the Central Coast, a new Sumo Dog in Coachella Valley, and more

A golden pint being poured at MacLeod Ale.
Pouring a pint at Macleod.
MacLeod Ale

It’s been a wild past few weeks for Macleod on York, the Highland Park outpost of the Van Nuys English-style brewery. For the last couple of years the Valley location had been brewing its own ales and turning out reliable pizzas, so when the opportunity arose to take up residence in the former Maximiliano space back in October, the team jumped at the chance.

It was smooth sailing at first, given that pizza and beer is about as classic a combination as there is, but in recent weeks, a hurricane of woes has hit the company. The group announced the sudden closure of the Highland Park restaurant in mid-November, reopening in early December but without food. It also acknowledged the layoffs of many staff members. “Just as we had to pivot drastically at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are finding that we have to do the same right now,” the Macleod owners said in a social media post, “to survive a very sudden downturn in sales, combined with a depleted bank account due to our recent expansion.”

So now the Macleod folks find themselves here, weeks out from laying off staff and operating the Highland Park location as a taproom only. According to Instagram, pizza is now returning to the restaurant starting tomorrow, so drinkers can once again get a blistery pie to go along with their pint.

A big Central Coast contender

Vega Vineyard and Farms up in the Santa Ynez Valley is gearing up for a big 2023. As tourism has exploded along the Central Coast — spurred on by big new hotel developments and Michelin-starred restaurants — Vega Vineyards is launching ongoing lunch, brunch, and dinner service into 2023 alongside pop-ups from known chefs like Santa Barbara’s Budi Kazali. Chef Erik Thurman (Peninsula Beverly Hills, Alisal Ranch) is on to oversee the new menus at the sprawling 212-acre property, which includes vineyards, an original adobe home, multiple tasting areas, and more.

Two free gifts with purchase

Salad chain Mixt in Santa Monica (401 Santa Monica Boulevard) is hosting a holiday gift giveaway on Sunday, December 18 from noon to 4 p.m. Wrapped gifts will be given out to customers who order a salad, bowl, or sandwich during those hours, so head over to the company’s newest storefront to score a surprise for the holidays.

More hot dogs for the greater Palm Springs area

Sumo Dog, the popular music festival food stand that used to sling Japanese-inspired hot dogs in Koreatown, is once again gearing up for a standalone restaurant — albeit this time out in the Coachella Valley. In recent years the group has been focused on partnering with arenas like SoFi Stadium, Yankee Stadium, and Texas’s AT&T Stadium for concourse-style restaurants, but owner Jeffrey Lunak tells Eater that this newest standalone Sumo Dog will land at the Canopy at Citrus development in Indio, California by spring. Assuming all goes well, Lunak says that Sumo Dog will expand to four Coachella Valley locations, with others opening in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Brooklyn down the line.

A digital image showing a blonde wood fast casual restaurant interior.
A rendering for the upcoming Sumo Dog in Indio, CA.
Sumo Dog

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