Vans shoe store is coming to this prime location in downtown SLO

Downtown San Luis Obispo will soon have a new Vans shoe store.

The retail store will take the spot vacated by Chipotle Mexican Grill at 853 Higuera St. with plans to open by Sept. 11, according to store officials.

The commercial space is currently undergoing renovations with a wall of signs announcing its impending move-in.

“Vans originated in California in 1966 and our roots and heritage will always be here,” a Vans spokesman told The Tribune in an email. “... The Vans retail store in SLO will offer an assortment of Vans products and allow us to directly interact with our Vans loyalists while also welcoming newcomers to experience our brand.”

Currently, the closest Vans store to SLO County is in Goleta, though shoe retailers sell the brand in other stores in SLO County. There is a Vans Outlet store at the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets.

The chain, based in Santa Ana., specializes in skateboard shoes and related apparel, in addition to other types of clothing such as T-shirts, hoodies, socks and watches.

The business is focused on “expanding our global presence and currently offer our Vans retail experience in 84 countries with more than 2,000 owned, concession and partner retail stores around the world,” the Vans publicist said in an email.

Vans is moving into the old Chipotle location at 853 Higuera St. in downtown San Luis Obispo. David Middlecamp

“It is equally important to us that we remain closely tied to where our brand began and continue to authentically connect with Vans fans across California.”

Chipotle closed its doors in July 2018 after opening in 2010.

Vans will join 22 other companies that have opened their doors in downtown SLO this year, according to Bettina Swigger, Downtown SLO’s chief executive officer.

Of those 22 stores, 17 are locally owned and operated, Swigger said.

New businesses include Withco Coffee, San Luis Taqueria and Rogers Jewelry Co.

“Ranging from retail to restaurants — from specialty fair-trade chocolates to a tattoo parlor — there’s something for every kind of customer to enjoy,” Swigger said in a statement. “Downtown has a healthy mix of local and nationally owned shops.”

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune

Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.