There has been a rumor that an El Pollo Loco restaurant location is opening in West Hollywood. According to the rumor mill, the location is opening at 8601 Santa Monica Boulevard, across the street from the soon to be former 24-Hour Fitness Sport gym, and west from what is known as the Big Gay Starbucks.
It’s a rumor that happens to be true. A sign went up on the front window of the empty space located on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Westmount Drive (below Trader Joes) this week simply stating that El Pollo Loco is coming soon.
The grilled chicken restaurant chain is taking over the space that was briefly occupied by 85°C Bakery Café WeHo in 2019. The Taiwanese-based bakery closed after being open for about a month. It had its official opening on April 12, 2019 and by May 15th, the baked goods were scrapped and the space has been empty for a little over two years. Before 85°C Bakery Café, the space belonged to Fit Foods for several years before it also closed for good.
El Pollo Loco WeHo will fill a void left by the closures of WeHo chicken bistros like Koo-Koo-Roo in 2013, and the recently departed Coco Queen. However, this time, the chicken will actually be somewhat affordable.
The West Hollywood Koo-Koo-Roo at 8520 Santa Monica Boulevard, by West Knoll, was the last of its namesake. Founded in 1988, there were over 30 restaurants throughout Southern California at a point in its history. Then they each closed following a string of bankruptcies.
Coco queen had a rough ride in WeHo, closing twice, the second time for good. Original owners Angelique Bohbot and Nathalie Dahan received the red ribbon treatment by the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce when they officially opened on June 11, 2019. By July 21, 2019 the place closed unexpectedly.
The restaurant reopened on August 2, 2019 with owner Nathalie Dahan running the place solo. Dahan offered a new menu and new pricing, but some customers didn’t return (they never got over being charged $30 a plate for chicken). Then the pandemic hit, and despite her efforts to stay afloat, Coco Queen closed for good on November 4, 2020.
El Pollo Loco which is Spanish for “The Crazy Chicken”, is the name of two independent restaurant chains that are controlled by different companies: El Pollo Loco (Mexico)
El Pollo Loco (United States). Both companies specialize in Mexican-style grilled chicken and were founded by Juan Francisco Ochoa.
Ochoa established the first El Pollo Loco restaurant in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico in 1974 and then expanded his chain into the United States in 1980. Ochoa then sold his U.S. restaurants in 1983, which became El Pollo Loco, Inc., while keeping the ones in Mexico, which became El Pollo Loco, S.A. de C.V. Both companies have since occupied non-overlapping global territories and have offered different fare.
El Pollo Loco has grown in the past four decades with over 480 restaurants across the United States. The closest location to West Hollywood on 1260 N Vine Street, about three miles away.
It is not yet known when El Pollo Loco WeHo will open, but we will keep you informed.