Mind your appetite, Bakersfield, because two new restaurants are coming to the corner of California Avenue and Stockdale Highway, where Mexicali West used to be.
A broker representing the property said a pair of chains based in Southern California, California Fish Grill and Urbane Cafe, have signed leases to occupy the space next year.
Before they can move in, however, the 8,000-square-foot building that housed Mexicali West until late December must be demolished to make room for two standalone buildings totaling about 15,000 square feet.
The broker on the deal, Bob Haas, said the site will be cleared soon and that the property owner expects to have the restaurant spaces ready to move into in November or December.
Ventura-based Urbane Cafe already has a store in northeast Bakersfield; it opened in June 2018 at 2658 Mt. Vernon Ave, Suite A. The company's marketing and sales director, Christi Christian, said the response among customers has been so positive that the store wanted to open another in southwest Bakersfield.
"The minute we opened on the east end (of Bakersfield) we got all these letters from people: Why on the east end? Why not on the west end?" she said, adding the second Bakersfield location is scheduled to open in July 2020.
Urbane offers what it calls gourmet sandwiches and salads. It bakes its own focaccia bread on site. The company recently opened its 18th location in El Cajon.
Irvine-based California Fish Grill could not immediately be reached for comment. The company's website says it hand-batters its fish — all of which it says are responsibly farmed or wild-caught — and keeps its prices reasonable. It has nearly 30 locations around the state.
Haas, a partner at Cypress Retail Group, based in the Los Angeles area, said the two-building space envisioned at the site is now about 40 percent leased. He said negotiations continue with other potential tenants.
Mexicali sold the building to Buyer Dollinger Properties, a Redwood City-based company that owns several buildings in the same shopping center at California and Stockdale.