The Chicken Boss opened this weekend to big sales.

When The Grove developer Mark Gold first started filling the many spaces at his KRATE Container Park, most of us realized that not all of the restaurants and retail shops that started out in a KRATE would last very long. Although we may not have known which would succeed and which would fail, you had to know that some wouldn’t make it.

 Until recently, only a couple of retail KRATEs had gone the way of the dinosaur. But now, several more changes have either recently taken place or were on the way — and we have an exclusive look at the new and planned moves at the container park.  

The first-ever restaurant KRATE to close is Falafel Factory, which shut its doors last month. That set off a couple of changes that, quite honestly, we’re pretty excited to announce.

Falafel Factory’s space between Pisco Express and Palani’s Hawai’i Noodles has been taken over by TJ’s Hot Dogs, which previously occupied the space next to the The Bacon Boss HQ.

And, while TJ’s already is open in its new space, The Bacon Boss owners Josh and Christy Norland quickly followed suit and opened their new concept — The Chicken Boss — this weekend in the former TJ’s location this weekend. The turnout was impressive, say the owners.

Christy says The Chicken Boss’ menu focuses on hand-breaded chicken tenders. And, based on the love The Bacon Boss HQ has received from our readers (it was voted the #1 Favorite KRATE in our 2022 Reader Dining Survey) and from yours truly (it was my #4 favorite KRATE), I’m sure The Chicken Boss will be equally successful — as, I expect, TJ’s also will continue to be in its new space.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Urban Sweets, the currently vacant former location of Center Ed tutoring center will reopen as the second Blush Wine Room at KRATE, but owners Felicia and Nimesh Desai say that the new location will be solely a champagne and wine-based cocktail bar with a dozen slushie machines.

The original Blush location will focus on other wines and, we hope, perhaps expand its current menu of delicious food items, although anything on the Blush menu will still be available at the new location, too. The new Blush will open before the end of March. 

3Eleven owner Shareeka Screen

Two new non-food KRATEs also recently opened in previously shuttered retail locations, both of which we first told you about in our Dec. 26 issue. The first is 311 Aroma Candle Studio, which is a do-it-yourself candlemaking “bar,” with nearly two dozen different fragrances — from apple & maple bourbon to Froot Loops and many more. 

3Eleven owner Shareeka Screen offers classes for beginners and sessions for experienced candlemakers and calls 3Eleven “an interactive experience bringing people and families together to explore and create through the power of creativity.”

Plus, the place smells delicious. 

And, Shareeka is the sister of Yuhanna Alahmary of Radiant Wellness Spa, and 3Eleven Aroma, Blush and Mythos will all be on-hand at Radiant’s Health & Wellness Fair on Sunday, March 19.

Speaking of Mythos, it is now open in the former location of The Rebellious Hippie at the KRATEs. Mythos is an eclectic gift shop with cool T-shirts, plush toys, candles and knickknacks for your home and more.

And finally, next to Life Essentials Refillery, Valiart Designs (which previously was called Valiart Jewelry), will become the Tutti Frutti Cafe, which will sell all things fruit — fresh fruit smoothies and creative fruit desserts.

It is owned by Stacy Esposito and Eddie Nasr, who also own Cafe Zorba. They hope to open the Tutti Frutti Cafe by April. — GN   

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