The Cambrian

Popular San Simeon restaurant Centrally Grown and surrounding property for sale

Centrally Grown at Off the Grid on the northern edge of Cambria was purchased in December 2018 by the owners of Daou winery.
Centrally Grown at Off the Grid on the northern edge of Cambria was purchased in December 2018 by the owners of Daou winery.

Two unique Cambria properties — the highly visible, virtually oceanfront Centrally Grown at Off the Grid restaurant/shop complex and a lavish rural home in the hills above San Simeon — are on the market, having been listed for sale in late October.

Owner Dave Robertson’s Off the Grid LLC and Centrally Grown Holdings LLC filed for bankruptcy in April. While the cases apparently have closed, reopened and changed since then, listing agent Kellie Williams of Cambria’s Coldwell Banker said recently that a timely sale of the two properties might help Robertson avoid bankruptcy.

According to Williams’ listings, the combined asking price for the two properties is $10.6 million. She said she already has some prospects who are interested in the offerings, but that any bids would be “subject to court approval and overbid.”

In the past, both properties have been the target of some community conflict and worker unrest, plus some stern governmental actions, including a cease-and-desist order from the Regional Water Quality Control Board because an on-site wastewater-treatment process at the restaurant complex wasn’t working properly. At the Noel Way property, Fish and Wildlife filed charges about unpermitted work done in a creek, and county code-enforcement action was triggered by grading work done without a permit.

In 2012, Robertson of Centrally Grown Inc. of Compton paid $2.475 million for the property that had been for years operated as The Hamlet at Moonstone Gardens, located just off Highway 1 intersection of Moonstone Beach Drive and Exotic Gardens Drive. Though other corporations at that time, Robertson also owned ranchland northeast of San Simeon Creek Road, land valued then at nearly $4 million.

Robertson did extensive, expensive renovations on the restaurant, shop and home buildings on the Exotic Gardens Drive property, opening gradually for business starting in mid-2015. Subsequently, Robertson bowed out of operating the businesses, most recently leasing the restaurant operations to Mauritzio Lopez of the Black Cat Bistro and other local enterprises.

Robertson also did a lot of work, landscaping and more on the circa 1993 Noel Way home and the surrounding 133 acres of ranchland.

The restaurant property

Williams describes the 3-acre, commercial/recreationally zoned restaurant property with four free-standing structures as having been “completely renovated with over $12 million spent in improvements … The restaurant, (doing business as Centrally Grown) with two kitchens on each floor” is arranged as a restaurant upstairs and a downstairs space that can be adapted as additional dining space, grocery store or gift shop.”

The main building includes an elevator and large deck for entertaining or enjoying the view.

The sales blurb continued: “The residence is utilized as a bed and breakfast/vacation rental,” with three bedrooms, three baths and a two-car attached garage. The other two structures are a retail shop and another three-bedroom residence.

There’s also a 23-space parking area, and the property comes with more than 18 EDUs of commercial water allocation from the Cambria Community Services District.

Noel Way

The four-bedroom, three-bath, ocean-view home encompasses 3,205 square feet. Access to the hilltop home is via the steep, twisting private Red Mountain Road. Listing price for the home and ranch is $2.7 million.

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