A total of 20 new businesses — including restaurants, bars and thrift stores — opened up in downtown San Luis Obispo in 2019. All stores have either filled vacant lots or replaced old businesses, such as Forever 21 and Chipotle.
Here are the new restaurants and food establishments that have opened since June of this year.
Brown Butter Cookie Company
The Brown Butter Cookie Company, established by sisters Tracie and Christa Hozie in 2008, opened their first establishment in downtown Paso Robles.
Since then, their company grew immensely and their cookies have now settled in downtown San Luis Obispo.
They are located at 1003 Osos St. and are open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with different hours on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The store opened Tuesday, Oct. 15 in the San Luis Obispo Collection Shopping Center downtown on Osos Street where it will be selling its famous shortbread cookies.
“We’ve thought about having a store in [San Luis Obispo] for years and once this location came up we couldn’t pass it up, ” Christa wrote in an email to Mustang News.
According to the sisters, Brown Butter Cookie Co. produces thousands of cookies everyday, and their staff makes the cookies by hand instead of using machines.
“We have had to add two more days of full production to be able to keep this shop stocked so that’s a challenge, but our amazing team is up for it,” Christa wrote.
The original recipe is a brown butter sea salt shortbread cookie, but now the company sells a variety of flavors you can sample in the store, including honey, coconut lime, snickerdoodle, peanut butter and lemon sugar.
Burger Village recently opened five new locations, including San Luis Obispo at 698 Higuera St. on July 18.
Burger Village’s slogan is “Live organic and healthy.” They strive to commit to gluten free, organic and natural products and specialize in exotic meats, according to Verma.
“The thing that makes us unique is that we have food for everybody,” Verma said. “So meat-lovers can eat at our restaurants along with vegans.”
Some of their most famous burgers include elk, ostrich, boar, bison, turkey, lamb, chicken and beef. They also offer many vegan options to dine in. They offer patties based off of veggies, mushroom, gluten-free veggie patty, black bean and a vegan BLT.
Burger Village also has gluten free options as they have a separate fryer to accommodate customer’s requests.
Not only do they specialize in organic food, but organic drinks. Their soda is based on bean sugar, an organic supplement to the usual processed syrup, according to Verma. There is no color, fructose or chemicals.
Restaurant specials are implemented Monday through Thursday, including happy hour from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. During happy hour, tap beer is $3 and any wine is $3 off.
Kin Coffee Bar
Kin Coffee Bar opened early August on Higuera Street bringing an old school vibe to the area.
Unlike other coffee bars, Kin takes a different approach on brewing and ingredients.
With an 1800s style of siphon brewing, it brings a hardier taste to the coffee entirely. Pastries and matcha are all available.
The coffee shop creates an antique vibe that is accompanied with artwork and furniture from the early 1900s.
The shop is located at 847 Higuera St. and is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 6:30 am to 7 p.m., Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Efren’s Mexican Restaurant
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Efren’s Mexican Restaurant recently opened and specializes in Mexican cuisine.
Carne asada tacos, enchiladas and more are accompanied by traditional Mexican dishes such as cow tongue, cow head and small intestine.
In addition to the San Luis Obispo location, Efren’s has locations in Oceano and Santa Maria. They opened their newest location at 1285 Laurel Ln.
They thrive on a mission based on authenticity and affordable pricing, according to their website.
Tacos range from $1.99 to $2.35 depending on the meat. Efren’s also has Taco Tuesday specials, with tacos priced at $1.49.
Mestiza Bar & Cocina
Another new Mexican restaurant, Mestiza Bar & Cocina, opened at 858 Monterey St.
Featuring dishes from $12 to $40 and a full bar with craft cocktails and a Meztic influence, their goal is to create a fine dining experience using classic Mexican cuisine.
Mestiza Bar & Cocina opened shortly after Hotel San Luis Obispo finished construction.
There Does Not Exist
There Does Not Exist is a new brewery located at 4070 Earthwood Ln. The taproom is open Thursday and Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Mon Ami Creperie Cafe
The newest crepe bar has recently opened up in San Luis Obispo. After leaving their original space in Pismo Beach, Mon Ami Creperie Cafe replaced a vacant lot at 107 Court St.
They offer a full menu of savory and sweet crepes and a smoothie list as well. Prices start at $11 a plate and smoothies at $5.75.
All crepes are not gluten free, but options are available to those who need to accommodate.
“When we moved, we decided to put a more modern ‘SLO vibe’ twist on Mon Ami,” Mon Ami’s “About Us” page read. “The [San Luis Obispo] community has been nothing but welcoming and excited to have us. If you haven’t been in yet, come stop by, eat a crepe, and enjoy our new home.”
Hotel San Luis Obispo
Hotel San Luis Obispo opened their doors in October 2019 after being in the works for 14 years.
The hotel features two restaurants, Piadina and Ox + Anchor, and three bars. Ox + Anchor is not yet open, but both restaurants are under the guidance of Executive Chef Ryan Fancher according to the hotel’s website.
The hotel has 78 guest rooms, a full-treatment spa, multiple meeting rooms and a conference and catering space accommodating up to 330 people.
Pricing for their five types of rooms start at about $399 per night. Special packages and slower seasons offer cheaper prices for prospective customers.
Hotel General Manager David Smith said he wants the atmosphere of the hotel to be just like “old San Luis Obispo.” Through art and architecture, the building offers a mission like feel with a modern twist trying to “keep the history of San Luis Obsipo alive,” according to Smith.
“We’re open to the community and certainly Cal Poly parents,” Smith said. “We have an incentive for Cal Poly parents whose students attend the school.”
Taylor Keefer contributed to this story.
Correction: The founder of Burger Village is not Ashish Verma. He is the franchise owner in San Luis Obispo.