Changes coming to Arroyo Grande Village restaurant scene

The Village of Arroyo Grande.
The Village of Arroyo Grande.

Three eateries are set to switch things up in the Village of Arroyo Grande in the coming months, including two entirely new restaurants beginning construction and one restaurant expanding its hours and menu offerings.

The Mason Bar

At the east end of The Village, construction is underway for The Mason Bar, an effort of ASH Management's Bill Hales, who co-owns the Shell Beach Brewhouse, Mother's Tavern, Creeky Tiki, Frog and Peach Pub, The Library Lounge, Bull's Tavern, McCarthy's Irish Pub and Wine Shed. Hales also co-owns Rooster Creek Tavern, located across the street from the new restaurant at the corner of Mason and Branch streets. The new establishment shares the building with Robert's Restaurant, an American cuisine-style restaurant.

In a previous Tribune report, Hales described the restaurant as a small, boutique eatery that will feature food, beer and wine. Hales could not be reached for comment on the new construction.

Villa Cantina

Down the street, changes also seem to be coming to a vacant spot at 106 E. Branch St. — a public notice of application to sell alcoholic beverages is posted in the window of the former El Taco Loco Mexican Grill, for an establishment named Villa Cantina.

According to the notice, the restaurant is applying for an on-sale beer and wine eating place with an alcohol license. The owners are listed as Korinda Kay Gomez, Ronald Knute Gomez, Belinda Denise Humphries and David Mark Humphries. None of the listed owners could be reached for comment.

No visible construction has begun on the restaurant yet.

Comfort Market

Comfort Market has been open in The Village for close to a year — the business will celebrate its first anniversary in May — but owner Kari Ziegler is just now expanding the business beyond its former lunch and early dinner hours.

The business will now be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch crowds, as well as reopening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Ziegler said the decision to hold dinner hours comes as the restaurant — which formerly specialized in lunchtime favorites like sandwiches and salads — added new chef Fernando Rodriguez. She said Rodriguez has expanded their dinner options to include more tapas-style plates for sharing.

"We're going to have this great transition between our lunch menu and a more grown-up dinner menu," Ziegler said.

The business is also looking into expanding its catering menu, she said, and has begun offering cooking classes on the second Tuesday of the month.