I noticed in walking around The District in Tustin last week how
deserted the place was. No, not the Costco part or the part where Target
and Whole Foods continue to snarl up traffic; but the area around the
theater. After the failure of Borders and Chaparosa Grill
a few months ago, the quiet subset of The District called The Promenade
could use a few tumbleweeds to complete the effect. Though the eateries
on the outer edges of it, like JT Schmid's and Bluewater Grill are doing fine, go closer to the center of the plaza and you encounter empty shop after empty shop. It's eerie.
It is because of this that when Paigean–the Vietnamese restaurant that replaced Asian Mint–went
belly up about three months ago, no one noticed. Word is that the
original family that opened Asian Mint is already back at work at La Pho in Quail Hill.
And last week, when I got closer to the AMC, I noticed that Red Brick Pizza is also gone, with a sign outside heralding a new store coming soon called Mob Town Pizza. Perhaps the employment of an ethnic stereotype might change its luck?
Also earlier today, the Orange County Register noticed that Pablo's Cantina
closed last Friday. This comes not as a shock. Honestly I thought
they called it quits when they changed their logo from one font to another. But
it is now obvious that what I saw was perhaps merely a last ditch effort
to re-brand itself. Now that it's closed, it follows Pablo's Cantina's flagship store in Hawaii into
the abyss. That restaurant, located in a touristy mall in Honolulu, closed in early June.
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