Former Pier 1 building coming down in April; three restaurants coming

Milk pudding from85°C Bakery Café, opening this fall at River Oaks Shopping Center in Valencia. Courtesy photo.

The longtime home of Pier 1 Imports at the corner of Magic Mountain and McBean parkways will be demolished in the next few weeks, to make way for three restaurants scheduled to open this fall.

The city has approved demolition of the 9,785 square foot building, according to Patrick Leclair, senior planner with the City of Santa Clarita. Built in 1988 as part the River Oaks Shopping Center, the site hosted Pier 1 until it moved across the parking lot to a similar-size site next to Target in 2016.

This building at River Oaks Shopping Center will be demolished next month. Pier 1 moved to another part of the center last year. Three restaurants will open in a new building this fall. Katharine Lotze/The Signal.

“We look at this site as the corner of Main and Main,” said Edward Tung, asset manager with SPI Property Management Corp. in San Francicso. “It’s the center of the city, with Westfield Valencia Town Center across the street.”

SPI is property manager for Prism River Oaks, the shopping center’s owner. Tung expects the demolition to take place during the first week of April, with new construction to start within a couple of weeks, and store openings “before the holidays.”

Of the three restaurants that will occupy a new building on the site, two are making their Santa Clarita debut: 85°C Bakery Café and Zankou Chicken, which will be joined by a Jersey Mike’s Sub outlet.

Started in Taiwan in 2004 by Cheng-Hsueh Wu, 85°C takes its name from the ideal temperature for serving coffee, which translates to 185 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the company’s website, Wu started the company as an affordable alternative to a café he visited at a five-star hotel where “the prices were set way too high for people to enjoy on a whim.” It serves premium coffee and pastries.

The chain has expanded to mainland China, Australia and the United States. Since opening its first U.S. store in Irvine in 2008, it has added 14 more in greater Los Angeles, along with stores in Washington and Texas.

Zankou Chicken, named for a river in Armenia, features Mediterranean cuisine and is known for its spit-roasted chicken, shawarma, falafel, and tahini, and a thick garlic sauce. The Valencia outlet will be the chain’s 10th location. The first Zankou opened in East Hollywood in 1984.

Jersey Mike’s will open its fifth outlet in the Santa Clarita Valley. Since the first Mike’s Subs opened in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, in 1956, the company has grown to more than 1,200 outlets in 43 states.

The River Oaks Shopping Center was built by Newhall Land in 1985. Original tenants included Target and Mervyn’s.

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