CdM — Birthplace of Coco’s — Could Lose Restaurant to Bank

posted: December 28th, 2012 04:27 pm | 31Comments

Corona del Mar has had a Coco’s restaurant since the 1940s, when the first-ever Coco’s opened in what currently is Ruby’s Diner. But city officials have issued permits to convert the current Coco’s location into a Chase bank, and some local patrons are worried that the restaurant soon will close for good.

“That would be quite upsetting,” said Corona del Mar resident Dave Buckholz. “We don’t cook, so it’s on our restaurant rotation. That’s tough.”

A Coco’s corporate spokesman declined to speak about the future of the restaurant at 3446 East Coast Highway. But an area training manager said in a recent telephone interview that patrons have been asking about a possible closure for nearly a year.

“We are in a situation where we just don’t know,” said Cindy Yong, an area training manager. “We have not had corporate come in and tell us anything. I’m not saying it’s not. They’re just not disclosing it with us. A lot of times, your customers know more than you.”

According to a Newport Beach spokeswoman, plans were submitted into plan check on July 3 for a commercial tenant improvement at 3446 East Coast Highway for Chase bank.

“According to the plan check status information,” wrote Mary Locey in an email, “it appears the plans were approved for permit issuance on November 13, 2012, an extension was granted on December 14, 2012 and the plan check expires on July 3, 2013.”

A city webpage says the project will “demo (the) interior of existing 5,290 SF Coco’s restaurant and convert into a Chase Bank” as well as include the “(d)emolition and removal of exterior covered patio area.”

Christine Holevas, a Chase bank spokeswoman, said in an email that she didn’t know specifics of a construction schedule but that the branch should be complete by Spring 2013.

The Coco’s Bakery Restaurant chain has 110 restaurants in California, Arizona and Nevada, according to the Coco’s website.

The Snack Shop that became the original Coco’s in 1948 is now Ruby’s at 2305 East Coast Highway. Wikipedia states that John and Audrey McIntosh bought The Snack Shop in Corona del Mar in 1948, deciding to purchase the restaurant after he’d worked there for two weeks.

Another nearby Coco’s in Fashion Island closed in May.

“That was disappointing to the community,” Yong said. “Thank goodness, a lot of those customers came down here. It’s hard to think somebody would do that…The community needs this restaurant. Let’s hope it’s not so.”

If a Chase bank branch opened, it would join Union Bank, OpusBank, OneWest, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Bank of America and First Republic Bank branches in Corona del Mar, as well as a Farmers & Merchants bank currently under construction.

Corona del Mar resident Karen Sigler said her parents went on dates at the original Coco’s, and losing the restaurant “doesn’t make sense.”

“No more banks,” she said in a message. “Let them go to Corporate Center Drive. Banks don’t bring any interest/culture/uniqueness to our community. The Coco’s parking lot is usually packed. Very sad indeed.”

“The whole town is turning into a bank,” Buckholz said. “It stinks.”


31 Responses to “CdM — Birthplace of Coco’s — Could Lose Restaurant to Bank”

Comments

Geoff West

December 28th, 2012

Well, that about does it for us geezers who have enjoyed Coco's for decades! They closed the one near me at 17th and Irvine Ave. They closed the one in Fashion Island, a staple for us following a movie across the street. Now they're going to close the one in CdM! Arrggghhh. Then, again, I guess there's not much profit in Senior Dinners with half-slices of pie.

Tim Dupuie

December 28th, 2012

I remember as a child, when there was a bakery off the parking lot entrance.My mom would always get me a "snack shop cookie.It's sad that CDM is loseing an iconic restaurant.Just how many banks do we need in CDM?

Bill

December 28th, 2012

Time for CdM and newport residnts to put their foot down. Another bank?? There have to be more banks per square foot in cdm than anywhere in the country.

Sue

December 28th, 2012

There are already too many banal in CDM. CDM for at need another. Isn't hat why honey baked closed for another bank? I have many many many memories of the snack shop and cocos in fashion island and CDM. Pleas not NOT ANOTHER bank!

Lisa

December 28th, 2012

Not another bank!!!

Valentine's

December 28th, 2012

Are you kidding???? This is asburd!!

Sam Anderson

December 28th, 2012

Bummer, a CdM institution, as far as I'm concerned. Spent several years working @ Snack Shop/CoCo's in H.S.

Mark

December 28th, 2012

At some point, wouldn't the obvious over abundance of bank store fronts in CdM cause the permitting dept to consider what they are turning that area of the city into?

Tc

December 28th, 2012

Can you believe another bank in CDM. I think we have enough, 11 or 12.

Jim Wallace

December 28th, 2012

CoCo's is an icon and our family has enjoyed it over the years. My wife worked at the Snack Shop back in High School as well. I am a personally a bit sad, however, driving and trying to bank at Fashion Island as a Chase Bank customer it is a huge challenge. That being said, we do have a lot of banks in our town without a doubt...

JR Means

December 28th, 2012

Wow, just what I've always wanted in Corona Del Mar -- another bank to match the plethora of nail salons! Are we going to go to Costa Mesa to get our food now? Where shall we import our entertainment from, Laguna? Maybe now that City Hall is going to be close to Corona del Mar, the city planners might be looking for lunch and realize there isn't anything available in our fair village by the sea?

isabelle

December 28th, 2012

9 Banks and counting, one allowed a variance for 9 parking pots not 16...neon sign massage parlors...no beach fire rings.. no dogs at the Farmers Mkt....our Crown of the Sea is losing it's charm. ..no wonder the homes in the Village are getting such low comp sales...Mayor Nancy, what's happening?

D Fullerton

December 28th, 2012

Just what we don't need! Why do banks keep opening new locations when most consumers use electronic banking and ATMs? And we bail them out???

Bob Leathers

December 29th, 2012

That would leave us with one (Rubys) breakfast/lunch/dinner family restaurant and nine banks. Please don't do this! Bob

OTGrouch

December 29th, 2012

After LIving in CdM for 48 years, I could see the future, it was not pretty. Aclassic Calif beach town was turning into a "village". I have bailed out and you will no longer haveOTG to kick you around

Michael Toerge

December 29th, 2012

Yes, this is too bad. The site Cocos occupies is one of the few sites in town that has enough parking for a restaurant. However, the city does not control the ability of private sector property owners from leasing to tenants that are allowed under the current zoning. Its hard to imagine what a bank will do with all that space in a time when neighborhood banks are getting smaller.

Scott Spencer

December 29th, 2012

Why do BANKS ignore the character of neighborhoods while using their power to manipulate developers and landlords?? Chase is like a cancer. They have a Balboa branch, a 17th Street branch in Costa Mesa, and another one opening on Westcliff soon... all within four miles.

Michael Toerge

December 29th, 2012

Nothing speaks louder than a well organized resident group. I will bring this up at the next Corona del Mar Residents Association meeting, however, the next meeting is in late January. There are many unknowns. Is Cocos closing voluntarily? Does Cocos own the property or do they lease? Did their lease expire? Is Cocos subleasing the property to Chase? Do banks pay a higher level of rent such that the property owner is unmotivated to lease to restaurants? Is it fair to place additional zoning restrictions on commercial properties in CdM?

Corona del Mar Today Staff

December 29th, 2012

Reply to

Michael Toerge

December 29, 2012

Yes, this is too bad. The site Cocos occupies is one of the few sites in town that has enough parking for a restaurant. However, the city does not control the ability of private sector property owners from leasing to tenants that are allowed under the current zoning. Its hard to imagine what a bank will do with all that space in a time when neighborhood banks are getting smaller.

What can CdM Today readers do, Michael Toerge, who are upset at this news? Is there a way for them to push for change to the current zoning?

Gigi

December 30th, 2012

This is disgusting. Pretty soon our little downtown area will look like any other seedy, ratty town, with the thai massage places, chain food restaurants, banks and nail shops. Doesn't surprise me tho considering the way things are going around here.

Talbert Bott

December 30th, 2012

Look at the bright side of this issue, "one stop shopping for bank robbers"!

David Huntsman

December 30th, 2012

I hope that instead of focusing on the banks arrival, someone is asking the restaurants why they are leaving. What, in their opinion, is missing in Corona del Mar? Why aren't they growing their business? There may be some real obvious reasons.

Barbara

December 30th, 2012

David, great questions. I wonder if changes to the zoning code would make a difference, or is it more about making the village more accessible to those who don't need parking.

Kathy Sommer

December 30th, 2012

This makes me sick. Snack Shop #1 and #2 gone, no more Cocos, banks popping up in town like an invasion of ugly alien pods. I don't know who approves all these banks, or why? I understand if Cocos had to close for financial reasons, but why not encourage another restaurant to open? Anything but another bank!

Toby

December 30th, 2012

Coco's would be fine if they would borrow money from the Fed at 1% and then buy U.S. treasuries at 3%. They wouldn't even need to serve food! They wouldn't need customers at all.

robincdm

December 31st, 2012

It's a shame that CdM is no longer the unique charming little beach town that it once was. Financial institutions and mega-houses have become the new normal. What the affluent want, the affluent will be given. Maybe she should be renamed Little Dubai del Mar. The lady has lost her charm, her soul and her crown.

Chris

December 31st, 2012

ANOTHER BANK??? We need another bank in town like we need another hair salon, nail salon, rug shop, or clothing boutique! As a 16 year resident, I can confidently say we are NOT going in the right direction. Replacing Coco's makes NO sense whatsoever.

Rose

January 1st, 2013

Well I could understand another bank if the economy were booming sadly it's NOT. So I ask, really another bank ? Well give the Einstein that came up with tearring down Coco's and converting it into a bank a good swift kick in the butt !

Dave

January 1st, 2013

I could not be more disappointed about this. I know why some businesses don't move here. The prices are incredibly high for a small business,in fact, they are impossible to afford. The residents do it want the banks here. Almost all of the residents to whom I speak want to see more restaurants. I work in Costa Mesa and see countless massage parlors. I tried to pen a small business here Sos time ago, but the buildings are old and man have no Internet connections. Most small businesses can't afford the required upgrades to the building to function. We wish that we had the restaurants and cafés of 2nd street in Long Beach, but all we have are these new banks. What can we possibly due to stop this?

Amy Lechner

January 6th, 2013

David Huntsman December 30th, 2012 I hope that instead of focusing on the banks arrival, someone is asking the restaurants why they are leaving. What, in their opinion, is missing in Corona del Mar? Why aren't they growing their business? There may be some real obvious reasons. @David Huntsman: My understanding is that Coco's is not leaving voluntarily, the landlord is forcing them out in favor of Chase Bank. The restaurant's business's is fine, it's always busy and a great fit for the community. Very sad. I went to the Snack Shop with my grandparents, and my family loves Coco's. So now our only family restaurant in town that serves breakfast will be Ruby's? Pathetic.

Dan Jones

August 23rd, 2013

My wife and I had made it a tradition when we drove from northern CA we would always visit this bit of Americana Coco's in Corona Del Mar! Way to go Corona Del mar! just pulled into the parking lot of a Chase Bank!!!! Hey maybe you people in Corona Del mar can get the Ruby's Diner on the Balboa pier replaced with a bank too!! Not visiting the once charming Corona Del Mar anymore its a another boring corporate city .


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