Quite often, when a new restaurant debuts, we can say, with certainty, we've never been inside the eatery's building before.
This definitely happens when the business moves into a newly constructed structure, of course, but this occurs even with existing spaces.
But many Southern Californians have visited the former Sears Auto Center at Northridge Fashion Center over the years, to get their car looked over, or buy some tires, or perhaps look into an oil change.
The center shuttered, part of a larger closure of the car centers helmed by Sears, but the capacious and airy building remained in place.
And as of April 12, 2022? Fans of iconic potato balls, hearty Cuban sandwiches, chicken empanadas, cheese rolls, and that famous Milk'N Berries Cake are now visiting the colossal building, all to stock up on their savory and sweet favorites.
For the newest Porto's Bakery & Café, the sixth in the Porto's family, made its long-awaited Northridge debut on a bright and cool spring Tuesday.
"From the moment we decided to call this amazing community our newest home, we knew this location was going to be special," the company said on its Instagram page.
"You welcomed us with open arms, you never missed a farmer's market, and you waited patiently while we worked through unprecedented times to bring our family bakery to your neighborhood."
A separate post celebrated the fact that the company, a staple of the region's bakery-and-sandwich scene, has "... been baking since 1960," a continuing tribute to the legacy of founder Rosa Porto, who opened her first local bakery in Silver Lake in 1976.
The newest addition to the beloved restaurant chain is located on the southern part of the Northridge Fashion Center, near the intersection of Nordhoff Street and Tampa Avenue.
An ample amount of outdoor seating is available at the new location, should you want to sip that tasty lemonade and enjoy a guava and cheese strudel while soaking in the sunshine.
While Porto's fans have been awaiting the Northridge opening, five other locations, including restaurants in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, and West Covina, have continued to create the classics, day after day, from a bevy of decadent desserts to meat pies.
The Porto's King Cakes are also a Southern California must-have for many Mardi Gras revelers, and Make March Matter? Porto's is well-known for joining the effort to raise funds, all March long, for Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
The company's Bake at Home also became a mainstay during the pandemic, with fans ordering seasonal seafood potato balls (a seasonal offering) and chicken croquettes for at-home enjoyment.