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.

John Cox can be reached at 661-395-7404. Follow him on Twitter: @TheThirdGraf. Sign up at Bakersfield.com for free newsletters about local business.

(9) comments

Marshal Clay Farr

Maybe the City wil allow the contractor to build an off-ramp from Higjhway 58 into the parking lot. "Stupid is as Stupid does".


Another sophisticated architecturally interesting building demolished to make way for more bland "throw-a-way buildings that populate this shopping center. Gak!

Gary Crabtree

Just what we need. Two more restaurants in that location. Mimi's and Marie Callendars, El Torrito couldn't survive and Chipolte is on life support and there are a total of 10 within a 2 block radius. Everyone will try them out and then they too, will fail.

Donna Semar

What is your vision for the ideal business in that location, Gary Crabtree?


What was there before it closed, judging from the business demand. Sorry the family wasn't able to continue operating it.


Neither of these restaurants is full service, so they should be fine on the labor cost. They serve decent food, so that should help on the revenue. Chipotle self-inflicted many of its wounds by having Norovirus and other outbreaks related to its food. These restaurants will do fine in that neighborhood.

She Dee

Aw, come on Gary...Can't you see the humor of more out of town businesses using Bakersfield as their tax write-offs and/or shipping points? Let the games begin. At least the property won't be an eyesore! LOL :)


Before it closed that restaurant building was by far the most attractive building on that campus soon to be replace with...(wait for it)

Borringg! Not mentioned those big handsome trees will also become wood chips.

Peter Roth

They would probably sell their own mother if the price was right.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.