The restaurant business is tough. Increased costs and changes in dining habits can mean the end of a once-popular establishment.
Among the recent prominent changes are Journeyman’s Food + Drink in Fullerton, Orange Coast 2019 restaurant of the year, which closed briefly earlier this year and transitioned into Bronze Quail with a new chef. Fleenor’s on 4th in Santa Ana and Ocean at Main in Laguna Beach, both selected in the same 2019 list of best new restaurants, have also closed. Clearly our endorsements didn’t help!
Sapphire Laguna, owned and operated for 13 years by executive chef Azmin Ghahreman, will change hands in early March and transition into Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook. under restaurateur Russ Bendel Jr., owner of Vine in San Clemente, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, and Olea in Newport Beach.
Here are some other O.C. restaurants that have closed recently:
➜ Settebello in Newport Coast
➜ Pizza e Vino in Rancho Santa Margarita
➜ Tackle Box in Costa Mesa
➜ Saint Marc and Ways & Means Oyster House, both at Pacific City in Huntington Beach
➜ Tommy Bahama’s Bar & Grill in Laguna Beach
➜ Central in Laguna Beach
➜ Wreckless in Fullerton
➜ Two Left Forks in Dana Point
➜ Irenia Restaurant in Santa Ana
In happier news, here are some new restaurants and items to try today.