A significant lineup change is coming to The District shopping center in Tustin.
The inside-out retail hub — known for its jam of parking lots surrounded by a ring of retailers including Costco, Lowe’s, Home Goods, Whole Foods and Petsmart — has a new tenant for the shuttered retail Aki Home.
Barnes & Noble is claiming the 30,000-square-foot space, opening Wednesday, Oct. 18.
In a major coup for the center and Orange County, Fluffy Fluffy, a division of Fuwa Fuwa Pancakes, is bringing its Japanese-style souffle pancakes to The District at Tustin Legacy, its very first location in California. The extra-tall, fluffy pancakes became a viral rage thanks to social media posts on Instagram and TikTok. Fluffy Fluffy should open by late fall.
Also joining the tenant lineup is Prime Hot Pot, which is going into the former JT Schmidt’s location. The high-end Wagyu hot pot restaurant should open in late fall.
And the new stuff at the District keeps coming as some longtime spots are refreshed with new names …
Coming to the former Union Market Space are Shiki Shima Japanese BBQ, Pho N Mor with its soups and other Vietnamese cuisine and V Show Party K, a karaoke lounge and bar.
Relatively new to the center and already open is Thee Candle Lab, a candle-making experience right inside the store. Customers wear lab coats and choose from an array of glass containers and upcycled wine bottles and then concoct a candle from 30 house fragrances.
The longtime tenant Ritz Nails is expanding into a new, larger space near AMC Tustin 14. The new location will have private rooms to host group events.
The retail center also hosts a weekly Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays and District Nights Sip & Stroll on the third Thursday of every month. The stroll includes family activities, live music, local artisans and the OC Tap Beer Truck.
Luxury jeweler debuts in bigger digs at SCP
The Parisian luxury jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels is open in its larger, relocated boutique at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.
The 4,200-square-foot store is located at the retail center’s Jewel Court on the lower level next to Hermès and across from Chanel and Dior.
This expanded boutique has two large display rooms, five salons, five curated libraries, a bridal salon and a private “Poetic Salon.”
The Scandinavian kitchen designer Reform has opened at SOCO in Costa Mesa. (Photo courtesy of Reform)
Reform debuts at SOCO
The Scandinavian kitchen designer Reform has opened at SOCO in Costa Mesa.
The Danish company specializes in high-end kitchen design, working with designers and architects to create custom fits for customers.
Most Californians will have until Oct. 16 to file their state and federal individual and business tax returns and payments.
Tax deadline finally drops
Tax filers, if you haven’t filed 2023 returns, today is the day.
The extended deadline to file personal or business taxes both for California and the IRS was extended to Oct. 16 after storms, flooding and fires prompted FEMA disaster declarations across most of the state.
Filers must get their paperwork and payments submitted today.
The IRS said the extension includes most 2022 individual and business returns originally due April 18. Other business returns, normally due on March 15 and April 18, and returns of tax-exempt organizations typically due on May 15, also were extended.
The IRS and the state are offering relief to residents living in areas designated as disaster zones by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The list of counties includes Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside in addition to 37 others.
The Franchise Tax Board said taxpayers who suffered financial losses to storm damage also could be eligible to claim those losses on their tax returns.
Tax volunteers needed
Orange County United Way is seeking 500 volunteer tax preparers for its OC Free Tax Prep program, which is returning for the 2024 tax season.
Participants need no previous experience to be an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (called VITA).
The OC Free Tax Prep helped more than 16,000 residents in Orange County bring in nearly $15.1 million in federal and state refunds in 2023 with more than 16,100 volunteer hours contributed.
Erin Toughill is the new vice president of fighter relations and matchmaking at Irvine-based Englebrecht Promotions & Events. (Photo courtesy of Englebrecht Promotions & Events)
On the move
Erin Toughill is the new vice president of fighter relations and matchmaking at Irvine-based Englebrecht Promotions & Events. A Santa Ana resident and former pro fighter, she will take over for Chuck Bosecker who is taking some time off and Mel Valenzuela who will continue his work for BYB Bare Knuckle and A1 Combat. “This hiring is historic as Erin will be the first matchmaker in combative sports history that was both a pro boxer and pro-MMA fighter,” said Roy Englebrecht, company CEO.
Marianne McInerney is the new chief strategy officer at Brea-based Mullen Automotive, an EV startup. She will focus on growth opportunities and initiatives for Mullen’s commercial, consumer vehicles and governmental affairs. Previously, McInerney worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation and the American International Automobile Dealers Association. She also served as assistant secretary and director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation under Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
Nilu Patel of Tustin has been appointed to the California Board of Registered Nursing. she has been a certified registered nurse anesthetist at UC Irvine since 2008 and a faculty educator and instructor of Clinical Anesthesiology at the USC since 2006. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. She is a Democrat.
The Orange County Power Authority announced four recipients of its first Bright Futures Grants. The program provides money to local nonprofits, schools, and educators who teach the benefits of renewable energy.
This year’s recipients are:
Climate Action Campaign: Providing multilingual outreach and education in Buena Park and Fullerton.
Cool Irvine: Expanding programming to reach overlooked and underserved communities in Irvine and share sustainable living strategies.
OC Goes Solar: A collaboration with Climate Reality OC to expand community engagement and education in renewable energy.
Pretend City: Providing hands-on STEAM experiences focused on renewable energy sources, solar and wind turbines.
Status Update is compiled from press releases by contributing writer Karen Levin and edited by Business Editor Samantha Gowen. Submit items and high-resolution photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Allow at least one week for publication. Items are edited for length and clarity.
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