Back in February, it looked like Mario Del Pero and chef-partner Judy Han would open a second Mendocino Farms by June on the ground floor of The Citygroup Center. According to Del Pero, the LAPL-adjacent branch is now tracking toward a November debut. How will the second location differ from the original? “Foodwise, it will be dead similar,” says Del Pero. “We’re not changing what works.”
Yesterday, Del Pero led a tour of the former computer store, which fills 1800 square feet. Why locate at 5th & Flower? Del Pero considers the intersection “one of the major walkthroughs and thoroughfares.” He’s also hopeful about his landlord’s plans for a multimillion-dollar remodel, which will feature communal tables, revamped landscaping, furniture and umbrellas. AC Martin Partners built the original skyscraper and the landlord re-tapped the architectural firm to craft an urban park.
Del Pero hired Poon Design, who designed nearby Chaya Downtown, to “articulate Chef Judy [Han’s] food architecturally.” Expect “more green…more upscale,” he says, with indoor seating for 50 and outdoor seating for more than 120 people.
Step inside the front door and mascot “Mendo the Cow” will greet you at the entrance. Unlike the 800-square-foot original, Mendocino Farms #2 will have enough room for “more sophisticated, larger lines that can handle higher volumes.” There will be a secondary line just for phone orders. Along your route to the 3 registers, expect “boutique bottled sodas on ice in an old Hungarian sink” and samples of soups and salads. Instead of a standard soda fountain, you’ll find a Boylan soda fountain with six different kinds of soda.
In the seating area, you’ll find Carrera marble counters with tall iron seats, tables with blended walnut butcher block tops and four bar-height tables. A 12-foot indoor-outdoor communal walnut table features recycled factory machine part legs. In keeping with modernity, Mendocino Farms will offer free Wi-Fi and outlets for laptops.
Mendocino Farms will open in either early or mid November. Initially, the shop will be open weekdays at lunch, then “based on the love and demand of customers,” Del Pero and Han may expand to dinner and a single weekend day.