Closed down for a couple of months now, the empty Coco's Bakery Restaurant at 2644 El Cajon Boulevard in North Park is still hoping for a new leaseholder. The Coco's in Corona del Mar, California closed in March. And a Coco's in Scottsdale, Arizona, closed sometime back. Another closed in Phoenix.
A retro-themed restaurant, across the street from the former Coco's, is Lil B's Urban Eatery. The Reader asked co-owner Tino Rodrigues if their cafe had put Coco's out of business. He said, “Oh no, they were already having financial trouble.” Rodrigues did say they are seeing many former Coco's customers eating at his place, which replaced the closed Johnny's R Family Restaurant.
According to the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association's Steve Aldana, “With a good remodel, it would be a great opportunity for a more upscale operator to move onto the boulevard.” But he suggested that “with so many great local food options, the large chains might be having a hard time competing.”
Mike Clark with Cassidy Turley San Diego said they've had “several inquiries” from both independent and national-type restaurants. But he added that “the building's age may make it difficult to remodel and justify the expense.”
The former Coco's building occupies 6,169 square feet of space, and it sits on 0.72 acres. And like many empty buildings across the city, it's already become the target of taggers.
Coco's is part of the Catalina Restaurant Group Inc. in Carlsbad. That company is owned by Zensho Holdings Co., Ltd., of Japan, and also owns Carrows restaurants. Catalina's corporate office did not respond for this story.