Mint + Craft, a restaurant serving fast and casual dining options along with specialty food items, will open by the end of the year as part of the Chinatown project in downtown San Luis Obispo.
MAC Cosmetics, a national chain, is expected to follow later, though negotiations are still pending before it officially signs on.
The two are the latest retailers opening on Monterey Street between Chorro and Morro streets.
Mint + Craft, owned by Robin and Shanney Covey, who also own nearby Luna Red restaurant and lounge, says it will offer “fresh foods that are innovative” for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Store shelves will be stocked with house-made pickled vegetables, sauces, spice mixtures and more, as well as locally crafted cups, bowls, linen napkins and tablecloths.
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The eatery will have an indoor seating option as well as a patio. It will have gourmet-to-go options, as well.
Stores that have recently opened on Monterey Street are Lululemon Athletica, Marine Layer, Francesca’s, Williams-Sonoma and H&M, all national chains. Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen is expected to open by the end of the year.
The retail sites are being leased by the SLO Collection, which is owned by Jamestown, an Atlanta-based real estate investment and management company. It bought several Copeland Properties buildings, including Court Street and Downtown Centre, in an area bounded by Chorro, Osos, Monterey and Marsh streets in April 2013.
The second and third level of the buildings near Chorro Street house loft apartments for Cal Poly students focused on entrepreneurship, as well as divisions of the university’s alumni and fundraising staff, which are expected to start operating there later this fall or early winter.
“The addition of new retail space and the hotel along Monterey Street will reinforce one of the most dynamic main streets along the California coast, and we look forward to celebrating with the community,” said Michael Phillips, the president of Jamestown.
A free grand-opening celebration will be from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 5 to mark the center’s inception. The event will feature food, live music, entertainment and more.
Munchies from Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen and Mint + Craft will be available, along with music from local artists Damon Castillo, Nick Larson and Reese Galido. In addition, magician Rich Ferguson and juggler Alex Clark will entertain.
Both Mint + Craft and Thomas Hill Organic won’t be open by Nov. 5.
An interactive cooking demo will take place at Williams-Sonoma, hosted by a surprise local celebrity guest from noon to 2 p.m.
The main events will be on the street level and upper plaza.