CLU Unveils $15 Million Ullman Commons in Thousand Oaks; Includes a Starbucks

California Lutheran University (CLU) announces the grand opening of the $15 million Ullman Commons at 101 Memorial Parkway in Thousand Oaks.

The 20,000 sq ft building includes an all-you-can-eat dining hall, a quick-service counter called Ullman To Go, a Starbucks and a conference center. Designed to transform the heart of campus, the facility provides a gathering place for students, faculty, staff and visitors. It features glass curtain walls and second-floor balconies overlooking Kingsmen Park and the academic corridor.

The dining hall, which is open to members of the CLU community and their guests, serves a wider variety of food than the former facility. An international station offers Mongolian grill and Asian wok options as well as vegan food, sushi, samosas, and fried rice and noodle dishes. Diners can order from the grill, pick up daily specials or wood-fired pizza, and serve themselves at the pasta, soup, salad and dessert bars. A deli station offers made-to-order sandwiches and wraps. I had the pleasure of visiting the dining hall and was extremely impressed!

Ullman To Go, which is open to the public, sells fresh-baked pastries, made-to-order sandwiches and prepared wraps, sandwiches, salads, soups, pizza and hot entrees.

Starbucks is open daily from 7 a.m. until midnight, providing a gathering spot for students as well as community members attending events. The CLU Starbucks, the 18th Starbucks in the Conejo Valley, has three times the seating of the chain’s typical cafes, with 65 spots inside and a patio with space for about 50 people. The patio, which features a fire pit, is called Jack’s Corner in honor of generous donor and longtime Cal Lutheran Regent Jack Gilbert, who died in 2012. Their phone is 805.492.2411.

The first-floor conference center has two rooms for banquets or lectures that can be combined, a smaller seminar room and an intimate dining room.

The building was designed to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification. It uses natural lighting and ventilation extensively and has water-saving fixtures and a system designed to turn waste into compost.

Ullman Commons is named for a family of alumni and generous donors who provided a $2 million gift for the facility through their foundation.

Learn more about CLU at

El Pollo Loco in Oak Park is Closed and Will Become a Drive-Thru Starbucks

Update 11/2/13: The new Drive-Thru Starbucks in Oak Park is open. And there's already a line...


Original Post 9/28/13:

So long, El Pollo Loco of Oak Park

So long, El Pollo Loco of Oak Park


The El Pollo Loco located at 688 Lindero Canyon Road in Oak Park, adjacent to kid-favorite Bright Child (Bright Child subsequently closed its doors 1/20/14), has been closed to make way for a new drive-through Starbucks location. Following a trend set in Newbury Park early this year, the drive-through Starbucks will open and the nearby Starbucks at 706 Lindero Canyon Road will be closing at that time. According to employees at Starbucks, they anticipate a grand opening date of around October 16th. So get your engines revved up and ready...

Boney Mountain Coffee at The Village at Dos Vientos in Newbury Park is Now BeanoVino

Last month, the Boney Mountain Coffee Co. at The Village at Dos Vientos Ranch in Newbury Park came under new ownership and was renamed BeanoVino. BeanoVino currently serves up Intelligentsia Coffee as well as a variety of reasonably priced breakfast and lunch items. They are open 6 a.m. to 6p.m Sunday through Thursday and until 8 p.m. on Saturday/Sunday. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating is available.

Visit the BeanoVino Facebook page at or call 805.375.2326 for more information. Menu at this link.

Ventura County Star Reports Conejo Valley's First Drive-Thru Starbucks Approved

Update 3/21/13: The Thousand Oaks Drive-Thru Starbucks on Thousand Oaks Boulevard at Rancho Road opened today at 1:30pm! Woo hoo! Their phone number is 805.379.1750.

Update 1/13/13: The new Thousand Oaks Drive-Thru Starbucks at the corner of Thousand Oaks Blvd and Rancho Road is coming right along. The structure is built and they continue working away on it. The photo below doesn't quite do it justice but hey, I was multitasking while maneuvering a left hand turn onto T.O. Blvd. :> No word on specific opening date but certainly looks like it

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The Stonehaus Coffeehouse and Wine Tasting Room at the Westlake Village Inn to Open Late Summer

Update 10/31/12: The Stonehaus opened on Thursday, November 1st.

Update 9/24/12: The Stonehaus will be opening "in just a few weeks time"

The beautiful Westlake Village Inn will soon be opening a new Tuscan-style coffeehouse and wine tasting room, The Stonehaus. The 2800 square foot stand-alone location, with a 760 square foot. private tasting room, is nestled within the Inn’s own vineyard and is expected to open sometime in September. In fact, they are currently accepting applications for baristas, wine stewards and other staff at

According to a press release from the Inn, The Stonehaus will be a "unique vibrant morning coffee house with the aroma of freshly baked croissants, breads and our privately labeled roasted coffees filling the air. As the morning transitions into late afternoon, the interior takes on a European winery feel that will be complimented with exterior brushed limestone pathways and patios. The warmth of an exterior stone fireplace and wood burning pizza oven will complement the authenticity of the experience. You will be able to sip our private label wine and enjoy the sound of our lime stone patio fountain or sit in the shade of ancient oak tree taking in the backdrop of our waterfall. The grounds will be landscaped with pathways that will meander through the vineyards and play host to weddings or special events."

Sounds pretty nice! For updates, visit

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at The Lakes at Thousand Oaks to Close July 18th

Thanks to a tip from a friend via Facebook I learned that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at The Lakes at Thousand Oaks is closing as of tomorrow, Monday, July 18th. Bummer. This is the location next to California Pizza Kitchen. Coffee Bean joins Ben & Jerry's and Blizz Frozen Yogurt as The Lakes Alumni.

But the good news is that there are other 4 other CBTL locations in town, including the The Oaks mall. Also locations in Simi Valley, Camarillo and Calabasas. For specifics, visit