Sabrina Crew cuts fresh flowers for an arrangement at Petals and Pop.(Don Leach / Huntington Beach Independent)
Pie Not founder Jai Snowdon holds an Australian-style meat pie, one of several eateries at Lot 597 at Pacific City.(Don Leach / Huntington Beach Independent)
A selection of popular Aussie-style nonalcoholic beers and sodas from Pie Not, at Pacific City’s new Lot 597 artisans market in Huntington Beach.(Don Leach / Huntington Beach Independent)
Handmade gelato popsicles, Australian meat pies and spaghetti grilled cheese sandwiches.
They are all available at Lot 579, a food hall that opened this summer at the Pacific City development in Huntington Beach. It is named after the three lifeguard towers across the street, and it boasts about a dozen unique fast-service restaurants.
Lot 579 isn’t the only food option at the center. Several restaurants, including Saint Marc and Ola Mexican Kitchen, have found a home there. But Lot 579 brings a food hall concept, similar to that at the Anaheim Packing District and The District in Tustin, to Surf City.
Among the now-open eateries are Bear Flag Fish Company, Burnt Crumbs, Hans Homemade Ice Cream, gelato popsicle shop Popbar, Pie-Not and Petals and Pop — a florist that serves champagne.
Expected to open later this year are Portola Coffee Lab, The American Dream (burgers and beer), Frosted Cupcakery, Il Barone Italian Street Food (pizza) and Mahogany Smoked Meats (fresh jerky).
Many of the foods are convenient to carry while walking, enabling people to take them across the street to the beach.
Pie-Not, an Australian pie shop, offers savory and sweet pastries made with chicken, angus beef, steak or pork. Vegetarian options are also available.
“It’s two different types of pastries put together, and the inside is nice and thick,” said CEO Jai Snowdon of the pies. “It’s not runny and soupy like a chicken pot pie. It allows you to pick the pie up and eat it by hand like a hamburger.”
This is the business’ second location. A Costa Mesa Pie-Not opened in 2013.
Snowdon, who moved to the United States from Australia in 2010, said Huntington Beach was perfect for another store.
“It’s all beach culture and beach life in Australia,” he said. “That goes hand-in-hand with our pastries and pies.”
Being part of Lot 579 is a bonus, he added, for its ability to attract even more tourists to the area.
“A lot of people think it’s a massive drive to come to Huntington,” said the 32-year-old Costa Mesa resident. “Main Street has gotten a little bit of a bad reputation. We saw this coming into fruition, and it was an amazing opportunity to be part of something new for Huntington. This is part of a new revamp for the city. Pacific City is going to be the place to be.”
While Burnt Crumbs — the lovechild of food trucks Burnt Truck and Dogzilla — serves sandwiches, the fare is far from the standard turkey and BLT varieties.
Enter the Spaghetti Grilled Cheese — noodles, marinara, meat sauce and cheese on toasted sourdough bread — and the fried chicken biscuit smothered in garlic potato spread, country gravy and sriracha honey.
“The food is low-carb,” joked co-owner Minh Pham, 35. “With most of our concepts, we don’t really look at the calories. Come here on a cheat day. You’re happier when you eat like this.”
The food at the restaurant — another location opened in Irvine earlier this year — also actually isn’t burnt. The name plays off the burnt spaghetti that one of the owners used to make in college. It started as a kitchen error but then became popular among friends.
Many of the shops at Lot 579 focus on food, but Petals and Pop brings something different to the table with fresh cut flowers, arrangements, gifts and champagne tastings.
The shop, which has another location in Seal Beach — sans the bubbly — offers a range of exotic flowers and what owner Theresa Anderson calls “meaningful” bouquets.
“We’re not your typical florist where we’ll have every single color scheme and every single variety,” said Anderson, 35. “We don’t want to be wasteful. We buy what we need, everything is fresh and we switch it out every week.”
Of course, the champagne — offered in various varieties by the glass or bottle — also adds a unique touch.
The bubbly is served in vintage coupe or fluke glasses, which Anderson said adds to the experience.
“It’s a drink of celebration,” she said. “Our intention here is you toast, enjoy yourselves and move on.”
She said she believes Pacific City and Lot 579 were “needed” additions to Surf City.
“When I went to UC Irvine, I lived in Huntington Harbour,” she said. “I would drive [Pacific Coast Highway] and go, ‘Why won’t they put something here that makes sense?’ Main Street is more for tourists. It’s not for locals, and it’s not for families. This place was needed, and I knew the community would embrace it. The community really wanted somewhere they could go hang out at and be proud of.”