Mourning Sundried Tomato’s Departure



All good things must come to an end. Sundried Tomato is closed forever. And no one is more unhappy than me. They rinsed their wine glasses and swept their floors for the last time on Oct. 27, 2013. For 12 years Young Company has had the pleasure of being their neighbor and we have enjoyed hundreds of meals with clients and family there. It is not all that often that your favorite outdoor cafe is the place next door. The soups, salads and burgers were always fresh with outstanding flavor only to be surpassed by their excellent service and pleasant ambiance.

A lot of people will be impacted by their departure. Not just the employees and customers, but the local merchants who sell art, crafts and fashion to the thousands for patrons who visit Sundried Tomato over the course of a year. How would you like to be the flower shop next door?

So what happened? Obviously, the store no longer made enough money to be worthwhile. Although their prices were a bit higher than average, they made the most of every square inch and they were always busy.  Especially during happy hour. Which all sounds like a perfect recipe for success?

But then again, this is Laguna Beach where rents are high, parking is limited and there are many high standards and tough restrictions on things such as exterior signage to overcome.

Despite the unfortunate departure of Sundried Tomato and Jack Shrimp before them, there will be a lineup of hopefuls eager to lease a small epicurean oasis in the center of the cultural center of Southern California. And Young Company will be there to patronize them.

If you miss the taste of tomato cream soup and Sundried Tomato butter on warm olive rolls, they do still have two stores open in San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

Bart Young, Laguna Beach


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