Reminding us that beach cities are all about location, location, location
Reminding us that beach cities are all about location, location, location
Anne Marie Panoringan

Now Open: The Winery in Newport Beach

Just over a week ago, our leading men at The Winery unveiled their newest locale off Pacific Coast Highway. I stopped by a few days before to view the former Villa Nova space. Extreme makeover is an understatement-- between a wall of wine lockers requiring use of a library ladder and imported countertops adorning a duo of bars, it rivals fine dining establishments at local resorts. We caught JC Clow downstairs, overseeing the stocking of their massive, two story wine cellar. Chef Yvon Goetz was on the second floor, coordinating pre-opening dinners for investors and select guests. Here in a proverbial nutshell is a rundown of what to expect.

How do you plan to cater to Newport clientele? The Winery Newport Beach is set to be the newest, most luxurious, classy and cutting edge culinary experience in Orange County. The restaurant sits on a landmark location on Pacific Coast Highway that has incredible views of the Newport Marina. We know that our guests from Newport Beach and beyond will be impressed with our team of eight certified Sommeliers, including a Level 3 Sommelier.

Tell us about the layout: the bar, seating capacity, private dining, etc. The design of the restaurant is by the award-winning Richard McCormack Design of Orange County. The Winery Newport Beach is a 10,000 square foot, two story restaurant. It features two private dining rooms with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment. The Sonoma Room, with views of the marina, accommodates up to 60 guests; the Napa Room accommodates up to 24 guests and features an indoor fireplace.

The restaurant's first floor dining area will be able to seat 150 guests. The first floor bar accommodates up to 34 guests. The restaurant's second story dining room features a breathtaking bar with scenic ocean views. Capacity for bar and adjoining lounge area is 40 guests, while the entire dining area can accommodate 110 seated guests (200 standing guests for a cocktail-style event).

The Winery's second-story cigar patio overlooks the marina with plush sofas, large flat-screen televisions, a dual-sided fireplace and heaters. And we feature a two story, temperature-controlled glass wine cellar with a 6,000 bottle capacity. Will the menu vary from The District location? The menu will feature many of Chef Yvon Goetz' signature dishes, but also predominantly feature more fresh Hawaiian seafood and other 'ocean-to-table' items. Let's talk more about that view. I'm assuming this will be prime viewing space for the boat parade? There is a 700 square foot, second floor outdoor dining patio overlooking the marina with two outdoor fireplaces, heating system and waterproof awnings for year-round use. We designed the space to highlight the view. Our main dining room offers a view from virtually every seat. Guests joining us in December during the annual Boat Parade in Newport will definitely be in for a treat.

Editor's Note: If you're feeling nostalgic, head upstairs to the landing between the first and second floors. A small collection of wine lockers is what's left of the original Villa Nova.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar is located at 3131 W. Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, (949) 999-6622;

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