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Jack's will try to open in just one retail space instead of three in hopes of getting the plan approved by the city of Laguna Beach.
Jamal Abdelmuti, one of Jack's owners, filled me in late Thursday night after I found out Jack's withdrew its original application and would not appear at the City Council next week.
When Jack's owners were shown the property in downtown Laguna, they were told the vacant Big Dog store on Ocean Avenue and an adjacent but occupied cleaners and dress shop were available. The landlord offered to move the cleaners and dress shop to a new location downtown. But Ocean Avenue is designated for resident serving uses, and city officials objected to the businesses being relocated. Officials also objected to having another surf shop downtown since Hobie, Toes on the Nose and Quiksilver are nearby. It will be interesting to see if that's still an issue.
Jamal said his family thought it would be an uphill battle to get their original application approved, plus they didn't like being painted as the bad guys moving the other businesses when it wasn't their idea. They plan to start over, and apply to open just in the vacant Big Dog space.
"We're going back to square one," Jamal said. Previously, the idea was to have the mens store in the Big Dog space and a women's store next door for a total of about 8,000 square feet. Jamal said they haven't started working on a layout for reduced space yet, which will total about 6,400 square feet.
Jack's, one of the most influential surf shops in the world, has stores in Huntington Beach, Coronal Del Mar, Newport Beach and Dana Point.