Compiled by Michael Aushenker


The historic Culver Hotel has rebooted its second-floor bar as the Prohibition-era inspired Velvet Lounge

The historic Culver Hotel has rebooted its second-floor bar as the Prohibition-era inspired Velvet Lounge

Popular Midwest fast-service restaurant chain Steak ‘n Shake has followed East Coasters Dunkin’ Donuts in setting up shop in Santa Monica, opening its first franchise in Los Angeles County on Oct. 28 at 1455 Third Street Promenade. Founded in 1934 in Normal, Ill., Steak ‘n Shake is known for its menu of steak burgers, including the signature Double ‘n Cheese, as well as hand-dipped milkshakes. (310) 260-1516;
Beverage retailer BevMo! celebrated the opening of its 155th store on Oct. 17 at 4214 Lincoln Blvd. in Marina del Rey. A party for MdR residents the night before offered tastings of Mumm Napa, Milagro Tequila, Patron and Stella Rosa to a DJ-driven ‘80s soundtrack. “This will be the second West Los Angeles store that we have opened this year, and BevMo! can’t wait to join the vibrant Marina del Rey neighborhood,” said BevMo! CEO Alan Johnson. (310) 773-5630;

Cyclepathic, a new state-of-the-art spin and fitness studio at 720 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, celebrated its grand opening on Oct. 23. Owner Adam Kessel and Laurel Rosen of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce cut the ribbon before a crowd of 150 people as Santa Monica College cheerleaders chanted the studio’s mantra: “Sweat Hard, Sweat Proud and Sweat Like You Mean It.” (310) 917-1116;

Harry Jemelian, owner of Malibu J’s, opened Santa Monica Luggage Co. in early October at 410 Broadway in Santa Monica. (310)395-5333;

The Counter co-founder Jeff Weinstein opened Cadet at 2518 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica last Saturday. The new restaurant and full bar, with menu by Chef Kris Tominaga (The Hart and the Hunter), provides a French Provence take on California cuisine at the former Shack location. Tominaga’s delicacies include grilled rabbit boulettes, oxtail and onion soup, and littleneck clams while a wood-fire grill allows for roasted Dungeness crab, pork collar and porterhouse steak. (310) 828-3300

Straight outta Vancouver and onto the Santa Monica Pier comes Japadog, a fusion hot dog cart offering all-beef hot dogs, bratwurst and sausage dogs with an Asian twist. Among the Japanese-flavored dogs available are Oroshi (topped with daiko) and the signature Terimayo, topped with fried onions, teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and seaweed. The cart sells in front of the amusement park at 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica.

Electric bicycle manufacturer and seller Curbside Commuters, founded in Mexico two years ago, opened its first U.S. retail outlet on Oct. 15 at 218 Main St. in Venice. The company’s fleet of Electrobikes is designed to reduce commute times and increase quality of life with manual, pedal-assist and full-speed models, said Curbside Commuters Managing Director Israel Garavito.

The Culver Hotel (9400 Culver Blvd., Culver City) has remodeled its second-floor bar to open the “Prohibition meets Paris”-style Velvet Lounge, featuring 18 vintage-inspired cocktails created by head mixologist J.J. Weiner and the Velvet Lounge head bartender Phil Santos. (310) 558-9400;

Mar Vista live music venue The Good Hurt (12249 Venice Blvd.) has closed its doors. A message on the hospital-themed club’s website read: “Thanks everyone for 12 amazing years! It has been an absolute honor to provide the blank canvass for all the musicians and artists to express themselves, [and] the homey club environment in which everyone felt like a ‘local,’ met amazing people, and forged friendships for life.”

A new Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is expected to open as early as mid-November in Marina Marketplace, 13455 Maxella Avenue, No. 230, Marina del Rey. (310) 827-1740;

Restaurateur Jonathan Chu (Buddha’s Belly, Copa d’Oro) and master barman Vincenzo Marianella (Copa d’Oro, Providence) have enlisted Chef David Bartnes (b.o.s.) and general manager Tatia Oshidari (Orris) to establish The Independence, a modern tavern opening in late November at 205 Broadway in Santa Monica, the old Buddha’s Belly location.

Marina del Rey’s iconic The Warehouse Restaurant (4499 Admiralty Way) celebrates its 45th anniversary tonight with a VIP reception honoring founder Burt Hixson and featuring live music by the Lori Andrews JazHarp Quartet. “We are so proud to have grown up with Marina del Rey — and we think we still offer the best sunset views in the Harbor,” said Marti Spencer, who co-owns The Warehouse with her husband, Lee. (310) 823-5451;

Although the firm moved from Santa Monica into its new 5340 Alla Road digs back in April, Del Rey-based advertising agency Kastner and Partners Los Angeles finally took the time to celebrate its home with an open house party on Oct. 23. Amid vintage cars (one of the firm’s many side businesses), guests shot pool and enjoyed shrimp tacos from the Marisco Jalisco truck, soft-serve ice cream from King Cone and finger foods (including Rice Krispies treats) by Bread & Butter.

Mar Vista-based real estate firm Bizzy Blondes held a client appreciation day on Oct. 1 at The Yardhouse in Marina Marketplace, where guests enjoyed sliders, fries and wine. Bizzy Blondes is headquartered at 3516 S. Centinela Ave. in Mar Vista. (310) 301-2323;

American Realty Advisors, an investment management firm with more than $6 billion in assets, has acquired the Millennium Del Rey at 5550 Grosvenor Blvd. in Del Rey, an upscale apartment community pending Gold LEED certification. Millennium Del Rey features an indoor/outdoor fitness center, bicycle maintenance room, fitness center, surfboard storage, dog yard and a business center.

Claudia’s All About U Salon (3861 Jasmine Ave., Culver City) celebrated a decade in business and a floor-to-ceiling remodel on Oct. 18. “I loved designing the new and inviting space, which includes six stylist stations and a private area for waxing, which is also one of our specialties,” founder Claudia Hawkins said. (310) 612-8819;

Producer Tony Bill and wife Helen Barlett appeared alongside owners Doug Bruce and Glen Luchford during the Oct. 12 launch party for The Rose Hotel (15 Rose Ave., Venice). The rooftop reception celebrated the overhaul of the former youth hostel into a boutique hotel with an interior design sporting fashion photographer Bruce’s touch. (310) 450-3474;

After re-launching under new ownership this summer, The Venice Whaler (10 W. Washington Blvd., Venice) set sail on Oct. 25 with its new “Weekend Brunch with a View.” A rotating lineup of live music compliments a distinct menu created by Executive Chef Nick Liberato that includes short rib hash, a Surfer’s Burrito, and dry-rub and buttermilk/matzo-battered fried chicken paired with waffles. (310) 821-8737;