Coming in 2017: Presto Pasta, Zankou Chicken, Hook Burger Bistro


Three regional restaurant chains are coming to Santa Clarita in 2017, and they’re all going to be neighbors.

Presto Pasta will open in January, followed by Zankou Chicken in the fall and Hook Burger Bistro at a date to be announced, all on the corner of Magic Mountain and McBean parkways.

Presto Pasta features fast casual Italian food “that fills the gap between fast food and a more formal sit-down restaurant,” said co-owner Jeff Schuberg. The menu includes pastas, including chicken, shrimp, or eggplant parmesan, pizzas, salads and subs.

Schuberg and his brother Ken bought the rights to expand Presto Pasta from restauranteur Albert Baltieri, who opened the Santa Barbara flagship restaurant in 1992, which he still owns. They expanded to Camarillo in 1995 and Granada Hills three years ago, and also have outlets in Ventura and Newbury Park.

“Business in Granada Hills was off the charts, so we started looking for similar communities,” Schuberg said. “The demographics of Santa Clarita are fantastic.”

The Schubergs learned the Valencia location was available from an old friend, Brent Reichard, founder of The Habit Burger Grill in 1969. He and his brother Bruce sold The Habit, which has grown to 178 locations, in 2007. After a period of semi-retirement, they opened the first Hook Burger Bistro in Oxnard in 2010. The Valencia Hook will be the sixth location, touting upscale burgers as “fine dining on a bun.”

Zankou Chicken, purveyor of Mediterranean cuisine and known for its spit-roasted chicken, shawarma, falafel, and tahini, and a thick garlic sauce, is coming to Santa Clarita in the fall of 2017. The company confirmed the new outlet on its Facebook page this week.

“People of Santa Clarita, we heard your requests loud and clear (thank you for the love),” the post said, “and we can’t wait to serve you!” The Iskenderian family, of Armenian extract, owned a restaurant in Beirut, Lebanon, and came to Los Angeles in 1983 (Zankou is the name of a river in Armenia). They opened their first Zankou restaurant in East Hollywood in 1984. The Santa Clarita outlet will be the company’s ninth, all in greater Los Angeles. It will be on part of the site of the former Pier One Imports, across the parking lot from Target. The Pier One building will be demolished and replaced.

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