Skip the Trip Up to the Mountains with this ’80s Ski Chalet Beachside Pop-Up

The Kimpton Shorebreak Resort in Huntington Beach brings a nostalgic winter experience to O.C.

I’ll never forget the time in the ’80s when I wrenched my ankle on a new-fangled snowboard. I sat in shame inside the resort’s lame chalet with a wine cooler in one hand, and an ice pack around my foot, waiting for a ride home. Ski chalets then, at least in Southern California, were about as cool as a convenience store, complete with hot dogs and hand-pump nachos..

A flurry of fake snow! Photograph by Greg Nagel

The Kimpton Shorebreak Resort in Huntington Beach aims to fix my recollection of the time with one of the coolest popups I’ve seen in O.C.: The ’80s Pier Summit Ski Lodge, which is filled with as much campy goodness as a Hot Tub Time Machine.

The Big Foot Old-Fashioned: Basil Hayden, marshmallow simple, splash of Laphroig, and a graham cracker chocolate-dipped marshmallow garnish. Photograph by Greg Nagel

For starters, the menus are loaded into 3D Viewmasters, blue for the drinks, red for food. There are shots that can be done in tandem on either a two- or four-person shotski; there are Snoopy snowcone machines to make shaved ice for a yellow snow shot; and there are even vintage lunchbox thermoses serving hot toddies.

The snow day waffle. Belgian liege at its best. Photograph by Greg Nagel

The food menu extends the fun with shareable bar bites done with coziness in mind; dishes such as the snow day waffle that’s drizzled in Belgian pearl sugar and Swiss chocolate ganache go great with the big foot old-fashioned. There’s a hearty rösti with warm gruyere, a deeply satisfying vegetable soup (also served in a thermos), and even a fireside fondue for two. If you’re looking for something bigger, go with the coq au vin or braised pork shank service with braised red cabbage.

The popup lasts until mid-January, so don’t miss out!