If you're an Irvine drone (present company included), then you know lunch hour is a tough time of day. Fighting the parking lots, standing in line and getting back to your desk without any food casualties is a familiar routine. And with the temporary closure of a food court by John Wayne Airport, lunch is even more of a drag. We have damn good news for you.
When the former Palm Cafe food court reopens this spring (The Chippy Fish & Chips states as soon as March 20, but we are doubtful), diners will be greeted by TRADE Marketplace. They are categorizing themselves as a food hall. A mix of retail services is also expected throughout the plaza. While a few outlets are still operating out of this corner on Michelson and Bixby, it is hard to say which ones will remain once the project is complete.
Rumors of not one, but multiple concepts by the duo of Scott Nghiem and Andy Nguyen are in the works. Their current dining track record includes multiple successful Afters Ice Cream spots and recently launched U Jelly (plus Nguyen's separate Nudo Nudo shop). Also a part of TRADE projects: Andrew Gruel of Slapfish notoriety and Hop Phan of Dos Chinos/Sit Low Pho.
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Two Birds will be a straightforward idea of properly grilled and fried chicken (read: NO seafood) helmed by Andrew. His collaboration with the Afters duo is poutine focused. Yes, the gravy-covered, cheese curd topped, fry dish. There is also confirmation of a full bar by Scott and Andy. Since the departure of OC Wine Mart, liquor has been sorely lacking from this plaza.
All we have left is one question: Are you ready for this, Irvine?
TRADE will be located at 2222 Michelson Dr, Irvine, www.2222trade.com. For leasing information, contact Annika Colombi at firstname.lastname@example.org.