Some restaurant openings you look forward to. Others, you might find yourself looking for a flux capacitor car mod to hit a time-bending 88 miles-per-hour in order to enjoy today. Luckily Bosscat Kitchen & Libations did the time travel for us at their soon-to-open location at the postcard-perfect historic circle in Old Towne Orange.
“I love it here, it’s just the cutest most eclectic area,” co-owner Leslie Nguyen says. “I just ate dinner down the road and there was swing dancing in the street the other night…this is old-time America right here.”
The new location pays homage to the building’s previous tenants throughout the past century. It housed an auto shop in the roaring ’20s, and the previous owner, Rod’s Liquor, rooted the busy location since the 1940s.
The transformation into a restaurant includes many remnants of yesteryear; details like old-school Mobile gas pumps centering the large outdoor dining patio. Old jack stands found in the engine pit were transformed into table legs. Just as the iconic Rod’s neon signs give the space some warmth, reusing their rustic icebox as wall art makes it oh so cool.
Initially, the menu will mirror Bosscat’s Newport Beach location, including 200 to 300 whiskeys to choose from. As Orange is such a brunch community, having a new spot to sit and eat the Instagram-worthy Fruity Pebbles French toast, a donut burger, or any number of Bosscat’s tried and true brunch hits will be an instant classic. As for items just for Orange, “our customers will tell us what they want,” notes co-owner and bar director Matt Sharp.
Once indoor dining is safe, Bosscat’s dining room boasts tall ceilings, a private dining room adorned with bird-caged booze bottles, a private whiskey room that can be reserved by members, and an 18-seat bar, all within view of the open kitchen where chef Corey Muir will play.
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations set to open mid to late March at 118 W. Chapman Ave., Orange – bosscatkitchen-newport.com