The revolving door of tenants at Union Market Tustin continues to spin, as one store has been asked to vacate by Sunday while new shops were announced Thursday.
The attorney for Union Market’s landlord, Andrea Young, released a list of tenants at the food and retail hub. Missing from the list: Oh, Hello Friend, a craft shop by popular blogger Danni Hong, and three restaurants by well-regarded restaurateur Leonard Chan.
Chan’s Rolling Boil, Taco Bandito and The Hatch were considered key restaurant anchors for the 23,000-square-foot complex, which opened in late fall at The District.
The revised tenant list includes new food and retail businesses, including Market 2 Plate, Farmers, The Dirty Cookie, Artisan Candle Shop and The Treehouse Shop.
“We are thrilled at our lineup of tenants,” said Robert Jystad, Young’s attorney. “We have seen great traffic in our market and the Central Bar is doing fantastic.”
Jystad said there is a lot of activity, estimating about 2,000 people visit the market weekly. “Those numbers are likely to increase significantly when the next restaurants open,” he said Wednesday.
Two new tenants expressed excitement to be at both Union Market projects in Tustin and Mission Viejo.
“Once we found out about Union Market in Tustin, we jumped at the opportunity to open a seven-day a week store in an amazing location,” said Eastvale-based Artisan Candle said Thursday.
The store, which makes its candles out of soy wax, plans to open April 1.
Truong Kim, a partner at The Dirty Cookie, said the shop will sell cookie shots to Union Market Tustin.
The store molds cookies into the shape of a shot glass. The “cookie glass” is coated with chocolate, creating a leak-proof lining for milk, he said. Dirty Cookie plans to offer “various flavors of milk,” Kim said.
Kim said The Dirty Cookie will take the space where Chocolat Noir operates. The luxury chocolate shop is relocating to a space that is closer to the back entrance, near Drinkbar Juicery, said Chocolat Noir owner Ashkan Eslamdoust.
Kim, who left an IT career to pursue being a restaurant entrepreneur, is also opening a different food concept at Union Market Mission Viejo: Milk Box. Milk Box will serve organic milk teas, desserts and boba. It will have an open kitchen so customers can watch their drinks being prepared, Kim said.
In mid-February, Kaleidoscope operators said the 28,000-square-foot Union Market Mission Viejo is expected to open in early summer.
Earlier this month, Timree and Olive Oil & Beyond exited the Tustin center. In late October, Le Pop Shop was evicted. Chan, who stopped construction of his restaurants over the holidays, could not be reached for comment. He had previously said his Tustin lease was active.
Chan also pulled his food concepts from Union Market Mission Viejo, also managed by Young and her husband, Russell.
With restaurants as the main draw for foot traffic, some Union Market Tustin tenants have been reluctant to open their stores, including Oh, Hello Friend, Front Porch Pops, and Torch S’mores. Drinkbar Juicery and Chocolat Noir have kept limited hours. Retail shops Lili Claspe Jewelry, Luella, Spice & Tulips, Shangri-La and Woodsnap, and the cocktail lounge Central Bar are open.
Earlier this month, Portola Coffee Lab was the first major food and beverage brand to open at Union Market. Portola plans to open at Union Market Mission Viejo.
Other key food anchors expected to open soon include The Kroft and Kettlebar
Hong’s “removal notice,” obtained by the Register, states that she has failed to “cure several breaches” in her license agreement. In a notice dated Feb. 10, Hong was ordered to open her business and pay $1,900 in fees and rent. The letter pointed out that rent became effective Feb. 1 after being forgiven for November, December and January.
“The Youngs have every right to demand that their tenants comply with the terms of their agreements, the most important of which is to open their stores in a timely manner,” Jystad told the Register in an email.
In May, Andrea Young told tenants that “rent will not commence until the majority of our signed restaurants are open,” according to an email obtained by the Register.
It’s unclear what Hong’s next move is. She has not returned requests for a comment.
Kim Daskas, a spokeswoman for Vestar, The District’s owner, has not returned requests for a comment.
Thanks to the OC Register for the insight on a Tustin business.
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