A quick walk around the second level of Paseo Colorado's east wing reveals virtual tumbleweeds blowing through the newly-emptied retail and restaurant spaces. Within the last few months, three businesses have hit the dust: D'Vine Wine, a make-your-own-wine shop, Pasadena Jazz Institute, a non-profit music instruction facility, and Paseo Cantina, a Mexican-themed restaurant.
It probably doesn't have much to do with location, as fellow second-floor tenants Bodega Wine Bar, P.F. Chang's and Porto Alegre Brazilian Churrascaria enjoy consistent business. According to Michael I. de Leon, General Manager of Paseo Colorado, each closure was due to its own, unique issue. "D'vine Wine just couldn't make it in this economy...it was difficult for them to find people who were interested in making their own wine. We closed Paseo Cantina due to lease infractions. The owner essentially was inexperienced in running a restaurant and that's all I can say about that. And the Jazz Institute was on a month-to-month lease, and we got a tenant who could sign a permanent deal so unfortunately they had to go."
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Noor Restaurant, a Middle Eastern-themed eatery, will be the new tenant of the Jazz Institute and the Amadeus Spa spaces. This means the new restaurant will effectively sandwich Bodega Wine bar as the space starts on one side, wraps around the back of the wine bar and comes around to the other side. According to de Leon, half of the Noor space will be a dedicated restaurant serving lunch and dinner, while the other half will be a small banquet hall. Though the owner, who de Leon cannot reveal, is associated with "some similar restaurants in Glendale" Noor will be the mystery man's first solo restaurant venture. It is scheduled to open in March or April of this year.