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Downtown Gastropub Getting New Look and Name

Changes are ahead for The Yard in Santa Monica's downtown.

When The Yard reopens as The Craftsman in mid-February, co-owner John Grondorf said the interior will be completely revamped.

"It will be like you're in someone's living room," he said Wednesday afternoon, taking a break from the retrofits he's working on with help from a few employees.

The construction that has temporarily closed the downtown gastropub began after a New Year's Eve party sendoff. In addition to the facelift, which will put a bigger focus on the bar, manager Michael Gormican said to expect new late-night hours.

A smaller menu and craft cocktails and brews will be served until midnight on weekdays and until 1 a.m. on weekends, Gormican said.

Next-door, the ale house formerly known as the Broadway Ale House is under new ownership and is now called The Commons.

The Yard opened in 2008 on Broadway, between Ocean Avenue and Second Street, with executive chef Chris "CJ" Jacobson—best known as a contestant on TV's Top Chef—helming the kitchen (Jacobson has since left).

"After five years, it was time for a fresh start," said Grondorf, hinting there was a falling out among some of the partners. Plus, he said, with a new name, customers will stop confusing it with The Yardhouse.

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Steve January 17, 2013 at 06:04 PM
What happened to The Yard? Used to be my favorite place in SM.

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