The District at Tustin Legacy is poised to add several new restaurant tenants as the shopping center takes the wraps off a $4 million renovation project.
The center—OC’s third largest by sales according to Business Journal research—said it will add seven new restaurants by the end of the year, including the first local outposts for several popular international concepts.
The District counts 1 million square feet of leasable space with 68 stores and restaurants, the largest being Whole Foods, Target, Costco and AMC theater.
Plans for the new restaurants, which range from a ramen concept to Korean-style street corn dogs, come on the heels of the opening of Fast Hot Pot and Casa Del Sol.
“The District Tustin’s leasing activity has remained robust over the last two years, even amid the pandemic and we are set to welcome several new first-to-market restaurants and concepts this year. It’s a positive direction and we look forward to seeing this continue,” General Manager Arian Maher told the Business Journal.
Physical upgrades at the center include fresh paint on the exteriors and common area improvements, such as new artificial turf and seating. A new District logo will debut in the coming months as well, as the center celebrates its 15th anniversary.
The District reported sales of $574 million in the 12 months ending June 2021, up 4.3% from the prior year, while its visitor count jumped 35% to 2.3 million, according to the Business Journal’s list of regional shopping centers published in November.
New Concepts Run the Gamut
Deidre Pujols, a 2020 Business Journal Women in Business Award winner, will open a social impact restaurant at The District that aims to provide education and employment opportunities for those re-entering the workforce.
Pujols’ Cocina Dominicana will open by June at the center’s dining hall, Union Market, and will include empanadas, sandwiches and rice dishes.
Japanese restaurant Rakkan Ramen will debut its first OC location later this year at The District.
Rakkan, which offers a plant-based ramen broth with 40% less fat than traditional tonkotsu ramen, will open late summer or early fall in the Promenade, across from Tilly’s.
Australian concept Yomie’s Rice X Yogurt will also open its first OC location this summer at the shopping center. The eatery has a menu of rice yogurt smoothie drinks advertised as a healthy alternative to boba tea.
Four more restaurants have been announced as upcoming tenants, including Korean-inspired Two Hands Corn Dogs; popular Southern California-based Filipino bakery Baked Dessert Bar; fast-casual concept Sal’s Pizzeria; and all-you-can-eat OC KBBQ, which will replace Joon Shabu Shabu.
The District isn’t the only OC center looking to expand its restaurant options to attract consumers back to in-person activities.
Westcliff Plaza in Newport Beach welcomed Canada-based OEB Breakfast Co. this month, marking the breakfast concept’s first location in California.
A higher-end expansion includes Tiffany & Co.’s co-branded dining venture with the French-influenced Petrossian at South Coast Plaza, which opened in April at the Costa Mesa luxury mall.