“Meet me at the Arches.”
Decades ago, that was a popular phrase for travelers driving up or down the Southern California coast between San Diego and Los Angeles. They often needed a place to meet, and the halfway point seemed to be a gas station and café called The Arches, named for its distinctive architecture.
Located at what is now the corner of Newport Boulevard and Coast Highway, The Arches was a popular hangout for celebrities such as Gary Cooper, Tyrone Power, Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Howard Hughes, and many others. Shirley Temple dined there in 1936 after cutting the ribbon at the dedication ceremony for Newport Harbor.
In 1982, Dan Marcheano purchased The Arches restaurant and for nearly 30 years kept the focus on fine food and great service, not to mention an old-school ambiance.
Marcheano closed The Arches in 2007 and reopened it three years later around the corner on Westcliff Drive, but that location never caught on and The Arches soon closed for good.
At that iconic intersection, the gas station is now gone and A Restaurant has risen where The Arches once stood.
I had met Marcheano several times at The Arches but lost track of him after the restaurant closed. However, word came this week that he had passed away on Oct. 24.
According to his bio on Legacy.com, Marcheano was deeply involved in many local charities and community organizations, especially his beloved U.S. Marines. He supported his troops and their families with countless fundraisers and outright contributions, and each Nov. 10 hosted an annual Marine Corp Birthday celebration.
Fittingly, a memorial celebration for him was held at Sabatino’s restaurant on Sunday, during the Marine Corp birthday celebration.
Corona del Mar Plaza Redo
It’s finally finished! Yes, the revitalization of Corona del Mar Plaza is completed, and includes new landscaping, updated storefront facades, enhanced outdoor seating areas, and improved parking lot circulation.
The improved parking lot is key. It’s often challenging to find parking in the plaza, especially while shopping at Bristol Farms or dining at Tommy Bahama and Gulfstream.
This Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., the CdM Plaza is hosting an open house with plenty of festive treats, live holiday music, in-store events, and a holiday photo station.
During the event, Bristol Farms will offer shoppers a cup of cocoa and a cookie, while Sur La Table has knife skill demonstrations by one of their chef instructors from noon to 4 p.m. You can also sample fall and holiday foods that day.
Sprinkles Cupcakes offers samples of their baked goods, while Tommy Bahama Restaurant, Bar and Store offers light appetizers and drinks while you shop. They also have special gift rewards for shoppers.
For more information, visit shopirvinecompany.com/centers/newport-beach/corona-del-mar-plaza.