New developments have changed the landscape of downtown Ojai in recent months. New stores and places to eat have either just opened or are still in the works. Either way, they offer an exciting glimpse of what the future holds for the city. During your next stay at Casa Ojai (Book Now), these places may even be operational! If you’ve stayed in Ojai before, these businesses present opportunities to try new food and shop from a different catalog. And if it’s your first time here, they will be great additions to everything else downtown Ojai has to offer.
Sanders & Sons is a new restaurant serving from-scratch gelato using locally-sourced organic ingredients in Ojai. They have been selling pints at Beacon Coffee and providing gelato to restaurants around Ventura County for some time, but now they’re getting their own storefront. Opening this fall 2020, they’ll be located at 334 E. Ojai Ave, in a newly redesigned area of the Arcade. Some of their inventory include Banana Caramel Chip, Mango Chile, Irish Cream, Double Espresso, and Raspberry Chocolate Chip, just to name a few. A few options are dairy-free and some are vegan. There are many places to eat in downtown Ojai, but though we have an ice cream store and a yogurt shop, we haven’t yet had gelato.
E. Ojai Avenue also has a few changes this year to its retail storefront. The new space Cercana opened in August in the middle of the Arcade. The retailer sells a variety of fashionable wares and home-goods, both locally-sourced and brought from places around the globe. The Ivy is also opening soon. They are a home decor retailer and antique store, with unique and thoughtfully curated items. They will be located next door to Cercana. Another retailer Kariella has been an established Ojai boutique for a few years now, but they’ve recently started to expand their space. They purchased the gallery next door to their old location at 212 E. Ojai Ave. They opened at the new location, 214 E. Ojai Ave., on Saturday, September 29th.
And someday soon we will hopefully see the Ojai playhouse open again. It shuttered in July 2014 following a flood caused by a broken pipeline. Recently, a new sign in the storefront suggests signs of life. The sign is a Notice of Application to sell Alcohol, in the window of what used to be The Jester, a pub that’s been closed along with the theatre for the past 6 years. The Jester’s absence has certainly been felt by Ojai locals who can remember it. Could this be a sign of the resurgence of the Jester, or is a new pub opening up? Either way, the new developments for this part of Ojai are something to look forward to. They offer new food and drink options that we can’t wait to try
Another development: Ojai Pizza has opened a new location. The restaurant has served as Ojai’s sports bar for many years, outliving many other places to eat. This summer they opened a new location in Oak View, where JJ’s used to be, next to Bochalli’s Oak View location. While the original Ojai Pizza is only offering carry-out and delivery, their new location has an outdoor patio, so they’re able to offer some in-person dining through the pandemic. Ojai Pizza offers food staples including build-your-own pizzas and specialty pizzas, Italian sub sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and desserts.