The menu is getting larger for clients of Venice’s ChowNow, an online ordering system and marketing platform for restaurants.

The company last month partnered with Yelp, allowing its restaurant clients to take orders from the popular online search and review website.

Chris Webb, chief executive of ChowNow, said the move is a big deal because it will help drive more traffic to his clients. Before the deal, the company focused on helping restaurants retain customers by creating mobile apps and developing online ordering systems for the businesses’ websites.

“A lot of restaurants were asking, ‘How can you drive more business to us?’” Webb said. “That wasn’t in our core function, so instead of trying to build it ourselves we partnered with the largest website out there for restaurant traffic.”

Now, customers visiting the Yelp page of a ChowNow client will see a box titled “order delivery or pickup.” With one click, they can start the order process.

Webb said the service is optional for restaurants but that nearly half of its 2,000 clients have already signed up.

For its trouble, Yelp gets 7 percent of the pre-tax, pre-tip value of each order placed online through the partnership. ChowNow earns its revenue by charging clients a monthly fee of $99, which doesn’t change for clients who sign up for the Yelp service.

ChowNow started in 2012 and works with clients including Pitfire Artisan Pizza in Venice, Pono Burger in Santa Monica and Coral Tree Café in Brentwood.

Close Shave

Greg Aghamanoukian, chief executive for men’s shaving and grooming retailer MenEssentials in Toronto, is eyeing Los Angeles for its first foray into the United States.

The online retailer opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Toronto last year. Aghamanoukian expects to open the company’s first U.S. location in April in West Hollywood. He also plans to follow up with 11 more U.S. stores, including locations in New York and Chicago.

Customers will be able to shop from the store’s collection of about 1,600 products from popular and luxury brands such as Anthony Logistics in New York, California North in Sausalito and Penhaligons in London.

While the locations will not house a barbershop, Aghamanoukian said there will be a barber’s chair for men to pop in on the weekend for a shave. He added that the locations will also carry a selection of high-end colognes. Customers can book a 30-minute session to get help on finding the perfect scent.

MenEssentials was founded in 2000 as an online grooming shop for men but Aghamanoukian said he wanted to offer clients an opportunity to touch and smell products, as well as to learn the various ways to shave. But he’s not planning to open too many brick-and-mortar shops.

“The strategy would be to have enough stores so that if they want to seek information there’s something available in the city for them to do that,” he said.

Revolving Doors

Former Culver City restaurant Ford’s Filling Station reopened last week as Ford’s Filling Station L.A. Live in the lobby of JW Marriott Los Angeles in downtown. … Men’s boutique Tankfarm & Co. in Seal Beach last week opened its second location, at Glendale’s Americana at Brand. … Atlanta restaurant chain Chick-fil-A opened its first Pasadena location last week, which comes one week after the opening of a Culver City location. … Online women’s retailer Nasty Gal opened its first brick-and-mortar store last month, in Beverly Grove. … Pieology Pizzeria, a pizza eatery in Rancho Santa Margarita, opened a location in Pasadena last month. … Loungewear store Sleepy Jones opened last month in Santa Monica. It is the first California store for loungewear by Andy Spade, founder of apparel company Jack Spade and marketing agency Partners & Spade in New York. … Chef Michael Fiorelli and the former owners of Café Pierre, Guy and Sylvie Gabriele, opened Italian restaurant Love & Salt last month in Café Pierre’s former Manhattan Beach space. … Gourmet hot-dog restaurant Dog Haus in Pasadena opened its fourth franchise location last month, in Burbank. … Willowbrook Footwear retailer WSS opened a location in Las Vegas last month. It’s the company’s first store outside of California. … Liquid-nitrogen ice-cream parlor Ice-Cream Lab of Beverly Hills opened its third Dubai location last month. It will open ice-cream parlors in Westlake Village and downtown L.A.’s Little Tokyo next month. … Carson grocery chain Bristol Farms relaunched its store in West Hollywood last month.

Staff reporter Subrina Hudson can be reached at or (323) 549-5225, ext. 251.

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