The Pocket Carmel

Kent Ipsen began working in his parents’ restaurant at age nine and has helped build the family business to include eight successful casual Italian restaurants with over 300 employees. In 2020, he leveraged his expertise and intuition to launch a new concept: The Pocket Carmel. Kent utilized SBA 504 funding to purchase the property which features two ventures: The Pocket, an upscale restaurant, and The Pocket Residences, a luxury apartment hotel behind the restaurant. No amount of research or experience could have prepared him for the news that greeted him on The Pocket’s opening day – a countywide lockdown because of the pandemic.

Kent and his team quickly shifted to outdoor dining as soon as it was allowed, offering the warm, welcoming service diners appreciated at his other restaurants. With time, he opened the residences, which he laughingly says are now so popular he can’t get a reservation. Now, on the other side of the experience, Kent says his favorite part of the business is the same; standing at tables, meeting customers, and listening to their stories.

Company Name


Carmel, CA

Project Size


Bank Partner

City Bank & Trust Co.

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