The neighborhood around Orange Plaza—what some folks call The Circle—is always reinventing itself, in a good way. This month, a new gallery and event space, a gastropub, a boutique, and a coffeehouse beckon.
1888 Center | Nonprofit organization 1888—which offers cultural programs and writing fellowships—opened a combination gallery, bookstore, and coffeehouse (with drinks from Contra Coffee & Tea) over the summer. It aims to shine a light on creative Orange County folks through art exhibits, book readings, and other events. 115 N. Orange St., 657-282-0483, 1888.center
The Wall | This gastropub offers more than 50 craft beers, including hard-to-find varieties and brews from local outfits such as Chapman Crafted Beer and Anaheim’s Bottle Logic Brewing. The small-plates menu focuses on food that’s perfect for snacking: think Belgian fries and Moroccan shrimp skewers ($4 to $10). 80 Plaza Square, 714-988-7700, thewallrestaurant.com
The Aussie Bean | The flat white—espresso with steamed milk and foam—tops the list of must-haves at this coffeehouse owned by an Australian expat and his wife. Second on that list? The Lamington, an Aussie specialty consisting of vanilla sponge cake dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut. 112 E. Maple Ave., theaussiebean.com
Nectar | There’s a rustic vibe at this boutique, with its rough-hewn wood floors and clothes hanging from metal pipes fashioned into racks. But the on-trend weekend wear is boho-pretty: basics such as ripped jeans, soft T-shirts, and lacy bralettes, with flowy dresses, ruffled tops, and cozy sweaters. 115 N. Glassell St., 714-639-4900, nectarclothing.com
All photographs by Melissa Valladeres