Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Paint 'N Play to Host Dance Competition for Charity

One Old Town merchant is teaming up with the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts for a dance competition intended to raise money for a charity that supports families of terminally ill cancer patients.

From 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Paint 'N Play at 418 S. Myrtle Avenue, will host the First Inaugural Amateur Valentine Dance Competition and Fundraiser. Ticket prices are $10, and proceeds go towards Hold 'n Hands, Help 'n Hearts, a legacy program designed to create keepsake ceramic hand prints for the families of terminally ill cancer patients.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Business Tip: Free Advertising Through Online Media

Looking for free ways to get the word out about your business?

Facebook works. So does Yelp. And don't forget about the My Monrovia Business Blog.

But one hyper-local site prides itself being so comprehensive that it has a "page for every business located in Monrovia." 

Monrovia Patch provides readers - and business owners - with Patch Places , which is a place where they can review a business, list its contact information, and provide detailed information about its hours, its specialties, and even a map.

According to Patch:
"Yep, if you go to our Patch Places you can find all sorts of shops by category, or by typing topics into our search box—yeah, you can find "sushi" or "tattoo" or anything else that local businesses provide. On each page is a photo of the business, the hours of operation, the phone number, accepted payment methods, handicapped access, address and even a handy map showing where it is."
Business owners can also "claim their business," and take charge of the listing online.

Pretty cool for a free service, huh?

'A Snail's Pace' Gets National Recognition

Monrovia runners, you're in luck: Our city is home to one of the nation's top running stores.

A Snails Pace, a running store that opened in Monrovia in July 2011, was recently voted one of the "50 Best Running Stores in America," according to this Monrovia Weekly story.

Snails Pace opened in 1979, and recently relocated from its longtime home in Old Town Pasadena to Old Town Monrovia, 750 S. Myrtle Ave.

According to the Weekly:
This national recognition is sponsored by Competitor Magazine and Formula Four Media. They conduct an intense, one-year evaluation process including nominations from consumers and members of the trade, and mystery shopper reports. They also rate the stores relationship with the community it serves.

“We are very thankful and appreciative for all our customers who have supported our stores and voted for us as one of the 50 Best Running Stores in America, We also want to thank our hard working and dedicated employees for helping us achieve this prestigious award,” stated Dave Reynolds, president of the company.
A Snail’s Pace has store locations in Fountain Valley, Laguna Hills, Brea, and Monrovia.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Round II: Cafe LuMar Open for Lunch...and Dinner

Cafe LuMar, a Croatian-influenced restaurant that serves soup, sandwiches, and fresh baked goods at 136 E. Colorado Avenue, is the newest restaurant in Old Town. We reported earlier this week of their opening, and posted their menu online. Today, we had a chance to see what they were whipping up for lunch, and ordered the half sandwich, salad and soup deal for $7.50.

Bean soup with a toasted piece of bread.

Half roasted pork sandwich and salad.

We also learned that they are open on Friday nights for dinner, so if you are out and about at the Friday Night Family Festival, pop by to see their daily specials...

Daily special for Friday, Jan. 27.
To get more information, here is their website:

Website: www.cafelumar.com

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Twitter Time: City of Monrovia Now Tweeting

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for: You can now follow the City of Monrovia on Twitter. Yes, that means that whatever you read here you can now find at www.twitter.com/@MonroviaCA.

And the Answer Is...


Almost everyone got it in our survey this morning, though there was one voter out there convinced it was Cafe LuMar.

Pictured in the poster is Merengue Bakery's famous potato ball - yes, a ball of mashed potatoes stuffed with ground beef or cheese and covered with bread crumbs - though  Merengue is also known for their cakes, yummy pastries such as the guava and filled stuffed "Refugees," and their sandwiches and salads.

Merengue is at 110 E. Colorado Blvd.

Thanks for playing!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cafe LuMar Now Open for Lunch

Its been a few months in the works, but Cafe LuMar, located at 136 E. Colorado, is now open for lunch. This quaint cafe, which opened last week, offers salads, sandwiches, crepes, and fresh baked desserts.

Cafe LuMar's addition to Old Town was announced on the blog back in November. If you recall from that post, the owner described Cafe LuMar as a place that "will be known for its friendly atmosphere, consistently great food, made in-house from scratch and from the freshest ingredients."

Here is their menu:

Film Update: Old Town Appears in Honda Commercial

A Honda commercial that was filmed in Old Town Monrovia back in October has started to air on television. This was spotted last night on TNT. Look familiar? Yes, that Honda is making a right turn off of Myrtle onto Lime Avenue, with Cafe Opera right behind it.

To learn more about Filming in Monrovia, visit the Office of Filming.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two Tickets for State of the City, Please

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz delivered the State of the City annual address on Tuesday in front of a crowd of more than 200 people at the Krikorian Theater.

In a message that was at times hopeful:

"If there is hope tonight, it's that intelligent people - who all want the best for this state and it's communities - will find a way to restore economic development - and job creation, and affordable housing, and blight and crime eradication - because, those are just some of the things that are now in jeopardy here and throughout California."
And at other times cautiously optimistic:
"We begin this new year optimistically, but with continued concerns."
 And yet other times just downright humbled:
'One lesson we learned last year was - "don't make promises in this economy."
Mayor Lutz delivered a message that reminded Monrovians that there is a balanced budget, a well-trained staff that can lead the City through adversity, and that no matter what the hurdle - whether it's weathering a tough economic storm or a violent windstorm - that Monrovia has a tradition of finding a "way to move forward."

If there is a common them in tonight's message, it is one of perseverance. To read the complete State of the City, click here. 

Survey Says: You Like Market Grill

Ok, ok, it's not a large sample size, but of the 22 people who participated in the "What's for Lunch" survey, nearly 20 percent said Market Grill. (Yes, that is four people.)

Here's what the rest of the bunch said:  

And we had a few people who we can only assume are sticking to their New Year's resolutions of exercise more or spend less by voting for Vons, "my home restaurant," and - there's one in every bunch - 24 Hour Fitness.

Thanks for playing!

What's for Lunch? You tell us...

Take the survey and we'll tally the results after lunch. You never know...maybe we'll find out about a new restaurant!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Monday, January 23, 2012

LA Magazine of Old Town: "This is a place meant for meandering"

Old Town Monrovia received a flattering write up in February's edition of LA Magazine...

Friends of Dorothy Finds New Home

Friends of Dorothy, a gift and card shop that has operated in Old Town on Myrtle Avenue for nearly a year, recently found a new home at 139 E. Lemon Avenue. Located in a side business of the Krikorian Theater, this store has movie memorabilia, greeting cards, collectables, funny T-Shirts, gag gifts, seasonal merchanise and cute little knick-knacks.

Friends of Dorothy had previously operated in West Hollywood for 28 years, but ended up relocating to Old Town Monrovia because of its quaintness and charm.
Hours are:

Mon - Thu:

11:00 am


8:00 pm
Fri:11:00 am-10:00 pm
Sat:10:00 am-9:00 pm
Sun:10:00 am-7:00 pm

Contact number is (626) 932-0110

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hopefully, a Bright Future for Monrovia's Newest Lamp Design Company

An award-winning LED lamp design company is now calling Monrovia home for its corporate headquarters. Koncept, located at 429 E. Huntington Drive, has been in business since 2002. When the company first opened, it was with the idea in mind that it would design and develop innovative products for homes and businesses, according to its website
Koncept opened its corporate office in January at 429 E. Huntington Dr.

Now, the company "has since developed a line of elegant LED lamps and lighting elements with the discriminating consumer in mind. Not only have consumers embraced Koncept's lighting for home and office, the designs have gained national and international attention," according to the website.

Among the products is the the EQUO, below, which helped it win the 2011 Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum just last month.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Round II: Shanghai Dumpling House is Now Open

In Monrovia, we like to emphasize shop local. That way, we keep sales tax dollars here, which ultimately go to vital city services. Sure, we know Monrovia may not have every business you want. But when it comes to restaurants, Monrovia continues to see new additions.

Recently, Monrovia got an Indian Restaurant, and as of today now we have a dumpling house.

Shanghai Dumpling House at 215 E. Foothill Blvd. officially opened its doors today, and city staffer Dan Bell swung by to experience it for himself...

Chicken Chow Mein from Shaghai Dumpling House
                Photo by Dan Bell 
 Juicy Pork Dumplings from Shanghai Dumpling House
Photo by Dan Bell

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dumpling House to Open on Foothill Friday

Shanghai Dumpling House, formerly occuped by Archies, will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow.

The restaurant, located at 215 E. Foothill Boulevard, features dumplings, noodles, fried rice, and a variety of meat and appetizer dishes - including marinated beef tripe, spicy-peppery beef tendon and sweet and sour pork. Call for their hours at 626-358-8258.

Here's pg 1 of their menu...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Free Valentine's Day Dinner...If You Win

Looking to a score a free Valentine's Day Dinner?

Old Town is having a Valentine's Day contest. All you have to do to become eligible for it is purchase items  from three Old Town businesses.

Show these receipts at one of four designated locations by 5 p.m. on Feb. 10, and you can enter your name in the contest. Winners will be announced at 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 10. If selected, you will receive a 40-inch Teddy Bear, 1 dozen roses, and dinner (or lunch or breakfast) at an Old Town restaurant of your selection.

Good luck!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

PetSmart Opens on Huntington Drive

Two months after a PetSmart sign went up at 745 W. Huntington Drive - the former Circuit City site - the pet supply store is now open. 

Customers were spotted walking in and out of the business on Monday, although the grand opening is not until January 21, according to their website. The Monrovia location is among 10 stores that PetSmart is opening in the next two months. Monrovia store hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

PetSmart is among the newest additions on Huntington Drive. Recently, paint store Sherwin-Williams opened at 503 W. Huntington Drive. And at the Huntington Oaks Shopping Center, Chase Bank opened last month and celebrated its grand opening on Saturday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Filming Update

Filming the past two months has been on hiatus due to the holidays, but it is back in full swing.

Over the weekend, the Neon Trees - whose hit song "Animal" can be seen below - made a cameo in a Buick commercial filmed in Old Town. The shoot occurred along Myrtle Avenue and along the 100 block of E. Lime Avenue.

Neon Trees pose in front of their tour bus parked in Old Town Monrovia
on Jan. 7.
The Neon Trees, a band with the hit "Animal," came to Monrovia to shoot
a Buick commercial.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2011 Business Roundup

Last year was an exciting one for economic development in Monrovia. Within City Hall, a number of actions were taken to promote a business friendly environment - including the adoption of the Economic Development Action Plan, the creation of the Online Business Resource Center, and the addition of this blog.

In fact, it was this activity in addition to Monrovia's established reputation that earned it "Most Business Friendly City" Award among cities with populations under 60,000 in L.A. County.

And then there were the new businesses that opened in 2011. This isn't a comprehensive list, but below is a list of nearly 25 businesses, which added nearly 250 jobs, that opened last year:

Old Town
Big Shrimp Fish Grill                        
Pho  Lemon
Noor's Indian Restaurant                           
Charlies House
Old Town Bistro
A Snail’s Pace                                    
Firm Media                                        
UPS Store           
Resource for Seniors                     

Flame Broiler                                    
Monrovia Modern Dentisry        
Oto Oto                                               
Max’s Mexican Cuisine                 
Peridot Nail Salon                           
Chase Bank                                        
City of Hope                                      
Esoterix Genetic Lab                      
Zen Buffet                                         

And we're off to a good start in 2012, too. PetSmart and Cafe Lumar are scheduled to open this month, and WorleyParsons is set to open its downtown location next month.

Did you want to open a business in Monrovia? You can find out more by visiting www.cityofmonrovia.org/red-home.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Indian Restaurant Featured on Star-News

Monrovia's newest Indian restaurant, which opened last month at 106 S. Myrtle Avenue, was featured in the Star-News...

New Monrovia restaurant offers modern take on traditional Indian cuisine

By Brittany Wong, Correspondent
Posted: 01/05/2012 04:42:54 PM PST

Over deep, doe-eyed conversation, a young couple digs into artfully arranged plates of richly flavored Northern Indian food - dishes like tandoori chicken kebab, saffron-flavored basmati rice and fresh naan bread. 

The smitten couple is just a few of many locals eating it up at Noor's Indian Bistro, a Myrtle Avenue eatery opened late last month by Nick Multani and his brother-in-law, Johnny Multani. 

Named for Johnny's son, Noor's is the street's sole Indian restaurant and an offshoot of Taj Palace, the restaurant the family first opened in Pacific Palisades 10 years ago. Read more.

Is it making you hungry? Click here for their website.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Diggin for Daises Children's Store to Open in Old Town

A "pre-loved clothing and environmentally conscious" children's store is scheduled to open this month in Old Town, according to their website and this sign and that was posted on a window front on Myrtle Avenue.

The boutique shop specializes in the resale of "high quality boys and girls clothing, accessories and toys," according to their Facebook page. It will be located in the Gem City Plaza at 420 S. Myrtle Avenue, in between Bella Sera and Action Footwear.