Thursday, May 30, 2024

Beloved North Hollywood pie shop, Republic of Pie, to take over Sancho’s Taco space in Belmont Shore


Sancho’s Tacos has formally shuttered its space in Belmont Shore, officially making way for North Hollywood pie staple Republic of Pie’s first expansion beyond its original location.

Republic of Pie has built up a cult-like following with their sweet and savory pies alike

It’s been named one of the nation’s best pie shops while USA Today called it one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles: Republic of Pie has built a name for itself by churning out a spectacular array of pies—Strawberry Rhubarb, Blueberry Peach, Key Lime, Pecan, Banana Cream, Earl Grey Cream, Espresso Chocolate, Coconut Cream, Cookies and Cream…—while also offering savory treats—chicken pot pies, quiches, sandwiches…

And yes, they are a space where one can request a slice of sharp cheddar cheese atop their apple pie—a rather archaic trend that is unquestionably worthy of revival. They also have latte happy hours, consistent community events, baked goods beyond pies like scones and danishes, and overall just offer a vibe that could be a warm welcome to Belmont Shore’s aura.

“Every morning, our bakers prepare fresh baked sweet and savory pies, scones, shortbread delights, and bundles of joy before your eyes in our display bakery,” said owner Vincent Kim. “Our highly trained barista’s continually challenge themselves while chasing the perfectly extracted shot of espresso, and relish the opportunity to engage conversation while creating siphon brews and pour overs. Adding to the unique coffee shop ambiance, we also enjoy hosting a variety of local talents, including some of the area’s fastest-rising singers and songwriters.”

That last part is an important part of Republic of Pie’s aura: They also happen to be some of the best purveyors of live music—something we can only hope will be brought to the brand’s Belmont Shore location.

“We’re always looking for songwriters who are needing a place to share their music with our pie-and-coffee-loving community,” said CEO Vincent Kim. “Many people come to Republic of Pie to work on scripts or designs and love the creative energy expressed by our performers. The NoHo stage is perfect for solo acoustics acts, duos, and trios that are happy to harmonize with our coffee makers.”

Wait—so what was Sancho’s Tacos?

Sancho’s Tacos are well known in Orange County, where it was founded—and across the past decade, have expanded with other locations across California, including a still-standing space in Bakersfield.

Inspired by Long Beach’s own Sublime, Sancho’s opened in Belmont Shore in 2017 with a bang, hosting surviving member of the band Bud Gaugh and guests to celebrate two things synonymous with Long Beach: beers and taco. The pairing of Sublime and Sancho’s made sense: Gaugh (along with Troy Dendekker, former lead singer Bradley Nowell’s widow, DJ Product 1969 from Robbin’ The Hood, and the artist who created the album cover of Sublime’s iconic 40 oz. to Freedom Opie Ortiz) had just completed celebrating the release of the only Sublime-sanctioned beer at AleSmith brewery in San Diego that year

Sancho’s is known for its play on authority culture when it comes to the naming of its food—you’ll find their chicken taco named “Yard Bird” and their carnitas dubbed “Federale”—while offering more upscale takes on the almighty taco and offering their secretive Chubbie/5150 sauce as a side only. This sauce has a cult-like following in OC, with its sweet-and-spicy combo that gets hungry patrons to return loyally.

Belmont Shore is becoming an epicenter for Long Beach sweets

Belmont Shore is rapidly changing and has rapidly changed—especially across the past two years, where a slew of bigger, largely Los Angeles-based brands have opted to open up locations along the famed business corridor.

“It’s really a reflection of how people are dismissing the shopping malls in favor of Main Street corridors that remind them of charm and local culture,” said Belmont Shore Business Association leader Heather Kern back in 2023. “Belmont Shore is primed and ready. It’s a genuinely exciting time for both residents and visitors alike.”

There was the recent announcements that Orange County-based Ribbro BBQ would be taking over the former Mangosteen space and that Kauai-based, taro donut masters Holey Grail will be moving into the Shore as well, adding to the Shore’s growing list of sweet spots.

The Win~Dow, Venice’s smash burger concept birthed in 2019 in a parking lot, has officially opened its first Long Beach location in Belmont Shore in the former Archibald’s space. Following its first location in Venice, its second location in Silver Lake, and its third here in Long Beach, more are to come in Southern California in 2024—but the Belmont Shore location has proven wildly fruitful: On the daily, there is a perpetual line for its affordable, minimalist burgers.

Goodies, the affordable home shop brand that opened its first brick-and-mortar in Santa Monica, moved into Belmont Shore. Founder and owner Rhea Carlisle—born in the Philippines, raised in a small, struggling town in South Texas—has brought a brand to the Shore than countless cities across SoCal have vied for only to find themselves empty handed. 

Then there’s Dave’s Hot Chicken, birthed out of East Hollywood, that opened in 2023 in the Shore. Here’s been Candified. Le Macaron. Breakfast Republic. Foodologie. Nick the Greek. Louie’s. Northern Cafe. Sushi Nikkei’s second location in the city

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The list goes on—as does the renaissance. And Republic of Pie? It’s a great addition.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.


  1. Belmont Shore has eclectic non-chain type restaurants. Sancho’s was almost OK, but too chain like for the area. I just do not understand how El Pollo Loco even survives there. They need to put picnic tables and fake grass with an awning over their parking lot then serve Mexican beers with chicken and fresh tortillas.


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