Have you been one of the Montrose Community members wondering when the old Rocky Cola Cafe would open as something….anything? You are not alone, and we are finally getting some answers.
In this recent article in the Glendale News-Press we find out that after sitting vacant at the eastern gateway of Montrose Shopping Park for almost five years, the former Rocky Cola Cafe site has a new tenant and early plans are to open a “family-oriented” restaurant with a vintage Montrose facade.
As of July 1, local restaurateur Jeff Williams was no longer leasing the property at 2201 Honolulu Ave. In his place is Tom Christopoulos of La Cañada Flintridge, who, along with his family, has owned and operated several restaurants throughout the country during the past 30 years.
Christopoulos’ early plans are to open Gus & Andy’s Montrose Grill, which he describes as a “fresh casual breakfast, lunch and dinner spot” where customers can order at the counter, get seated and receive table service.
“I think it will work out great for Montrose. We are going to try and bring back the facade that was there prior to Rocky Cola — what was there during the ’50s,” Christopoulos said. “I know Montrose has a lot of restaurants and bars, but this is something that is very family-oriented.”
We are super excited to hear about a new casual space in town. We love Montrose Town and Grill and the newer Trattoria Allegria, but these places are more date night than “oh my god there’s nothing in the fridge lets go out to eat” place. I mean, let’s just talk truth, ok?
Good to know. Because, if I am freaking out about no food in the fridge, I am going to need a bit of wine to get back to center.
Christopoulos said his two older sons, Costa and Andrew Christopoulos, will operate the restaurant once it’s open. The closest restaurant owned by the family is fast-food spot Jimmy Dean’s Charbroiled Burgers in Santa Clarita.
“I grew up in La Cañada, I knew Rocky Cola when it was a pharmacy,” Christopoulos said. “I’ve known the area for a long, long time.”
Locals doing local. What’s not to love?
Rocky Cola Cafe first opened in February 1988 and was a Montrose staple for nearly 25 years until it closed in late 2012.
By August 2013, there were indications that a restaurant named Bluejeans would open in the building and be operated by Williams, but nothing ever came of it. Williams owns two restaurants — Star Cafe and Black Cow Cafe — in buildings near the former Rocky Cola site.
Christopoulos said he’s been working on a deal with Williams for the past eight months, and said Williams told him that there were several offers for the location from others that eventually fell through.
Williams could not be reached for comment.
I am sure there is lots’ to unpack in this part, but is it worth it? We are moving forward people, forward!
Andre Ordubegian, president of the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. board, said he is happy to finally see plans for what he called an “anchor store” for Montrose and that association members will do everything they can to see the site flourish again.
“We’ll do whatever is in our power to help,” Ordubegian said. “We don’t really want to have any stores here closed up in Montrose. It doesn’t look good.”
Christopoulos said he hopes to file initial plans for the site with the city of Glendale by next week.
We can’t wait to try out the new place.