Stocktonians have a multitude of new dining and shopping experiences to explore along Pacific Avenue in 2022.
The pandemic has transformed local business, pushing some business owners into closure while inspiring others to pursue a new venture. At the same time, some generations-old establishments are disappearing as their owners retire.
The upshot: the departure of a few beloved mainstays — and the debut of some new and exciting shops — on Pacific.
Perhaps the most significant closure at Lincoln Center this year was Payters Grill, a fast-casual dining staple that welcomed both newcomers and beloved regulars for more than 40 years. Owner Peter Pijl, 71, closed the restaurant to focus on his teaching career.
Payters’ closure made way for Heirloom Kitchen: a locally-sourced, family-owned eatery serving breakfast and brunch staples including waffles, biscuits and gravy, mimosas and Bloody Marys.
Another new addition to Lincoln Center is Crumbl Cookies, a Utah-based bakery chain that serves a rotating menu of cookies each week. The Lincoln Center location, owned by a group of siblings and native Stocktonians, opened in September.
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Two new buildings, including Aspen Dental, are under construction in Stonecreek Village at the corner of Pacific and Robinhood Drive, permits show. The lot was left vacant when the French-inspired Mimi’s Cafe closed with little explanation in 2018 and was later demolished.
Sherwood Mall will undergo renovations in 2022 that will transform the center into “an outdoor-oriented shopping experience,” owners announced this month.
A cornerstone of the renovations will be the addition of Stockton’s first Sprouts Farmers Market. The 42-year-old mall is already home to Macy’s, Best Buy, Ulta, Home Goods and Petco.
In September, Stockton’s second In-N-Out opened on Pacific and Yokuts avenues. The corner has been home to several restaurants over the years, including Red Robin, Elephant Bar and Lyon’s. Customers report quicker lines at the new In-N-Out location than at Stockton’s original In-N-Out on March Lane.
Valley Brew reopened within weeks, but the owner of Empire Theatre remains in litigation with the city since officials evicted nine businesses over code violations in 2017.
Lush specializes in common and exotic indoor plants and gardening supplies, while Cena Luna offers unique kitchen wares such as specialty salts, rubs and liquors and tabletop decor.
Kim Byrd, president of the board for the Miracle Mile Improvement district, said she receives lots of interest both from investors and local business owners in buying or renting space on the Mile.
“Anyone that was born in or raised in Stockton has … memories of the Miracle Mile. I think it is a unique little area, and there’s passion about the district.”
Record reporter Aaron Leathley covers business, housing, and land use. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @LeathleyAaron. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at recordnet.com/subscribenow.