Downtown SLO’s Wineman getting new tenants

A Bay Area restaurant chain and another eatery are set to move into historic building

jlynem@thetribunenews.comNovember 22, 2012 

The Wineman in downtown San Luis Obispo will soon welcome new tenants, filling up a few of the remaining vacancies in the historic building at the corner of Chorro and Higuera streets.

Pluto’s, a restaurant chain based in the San Francisco Bay Area, will move into the roughly 2,500-square-foot Chorro Street space across the street from Black Sheep, said San Luis Obispo architect Craig R. Smith. The restaurant, which features healthy choices including sandwiches and salads, is under construction and will open after the first of the year, Smith said.

A second restaurant, locally owned Eatz By Dezign, will open in a less than 2,000-square-foot space off Higuera Street. Smith described the restaurant as a “Subway (restaurant) version of doing custom pizzas.” The eatery, the idea of owner Ali Vahdani, is expected to be ready for business in a few weeks.

“You go down this line and have the benefit of picking any toppings for your pizza, and it goes in the oven,” Smith said.

A third, smaller space on Chorro Street has yet to be occupied, but Smith said that the proprietor is in talks with the owner of a women’s accessory retail shop. A roughly 600-square-foot space on Higuera Street, formerly occupied by a cellphone store, is also without a tenant, Smith said.

The Wineman itself has become a popular place to live for those who appreciate a work-live lifestyle, and the addition of several new restaurants to recent ones,  such as The Habit, Raku and Chipotle, are helping to drive business traffic downtown, Smith said.

“Downtown is changing to a more destination-oriented place,” he said. “When people come here, they come for the specialty and unique stores. It’s the experience, not just the purchase. And the food and this type of assortment lend itself to that experience becoming a full day.”

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