Off the Menu: Billy’s at the Beach Returns, Others Bid Farewell

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This has been a tough year for restaurants. First they were open, then had to close, then reopened for to-go orders, then allowed to reopen with limited seating, then patio-only dining, then 25 percent indoors, and now back to patio only. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

But back to today, and the announcement that the iconic Billy’s at the Beach has reopened its waterfront patio for service beginning December 1. Upon reopening, I’m told the restaurant will unveil an updated interior with fresh decor, a renovated patio with extended outdoor seating areas, and a new Executive Chef, Robert Luna, elevating Billy’s signature Hawaiian fusion cuisine.

“We are thrilled to raise a Mai Tai and welcome guests back to Billy’s at the Beach,” said Asia and Fletcher ‘Ted’ Jones Jr., owners of Billy’s at the Beach, in a press release. “Billy’s has been a staple in Newport Beach for over 20 years and we’re looking forward to sharing the aloha spirit with the community for the next 20 years and beyond.”

Billy’s Hawaiian-inspired menu features fan-favorite legacy items including Billy’s Beach Burger and the popular Pupu Platter for Two. Billy’s is also offering its legendary Mai Tai Survival Pack with six Mai Tais, two cheeseburgers and fries.

A classically trained chef with over 20 years of experience in hospitality, Executive Chef Robert Luna comes to Billy’s from Texas, where he served as VP of Culinary Operations at Love Style Inc., celebrity Chef Tim Love’s restaurant group with eleven concepts nationwide.

New protocols have been introduced at Billy’s to keep guests and employees safe, including reduced capacity, expanding outdoor seating areas, physical distancing, and requiring facial coverings.

Starting December 1, Billy’s at the Beach will be open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch, dinner and drinks. For more information and to make a reservation, please call (949) 722-1100 or visit

A Fond Farewell

Most of my favorite local restaurants have survived the pandemic, although a few have called it quits and more may follow.

Chef Cathy Pavlos

Provenance Restaurant served its last meal on August 9. Owner and Chef Cathy Pavlos posted this message on Facebook: “All of us would like to thank our wonderful guests, our vendors, and our media friends for joining us on this memorable culinary journey. This was not a decision that we made lightly, nor one that we made easily. This is a difficult time for all of us, and we encourage everyone to patronize (safely) your neighborhood’s small restaurants, give them the support that they need, because they deserve it and so do you. Stay safe, Everyone.”

Chef Pavlos is a passionate and talented chef, and will no doubt return when the timing is right.

Provenance may have closed, but Mutt Lynch’s near the Newport Pier, which is celebrating 45 years in business, has announced plans to open a second “sister” location, called Mutt’s, in the Provenance space sometime in early 2021. Mutt’s will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a family-friendly atmosphere. I’m told the menu will focus on “approachable American eclectic dishes” and will feature Mutt Lynch’s favorites including Pterodactyl Wings and made-to-order pizzas, plus new family dinner specials.

Babette’s in the Crystal Cove Shopping Center has also closed. The owners posted this note on the restaurant’s website:

“We want to thank all of the incredible employees and guests that we’ve been fortunate enough to have gotten to know over the past six years in Crystal Cove. Thank you for making our time so special! We wish each and every one of you and your families the absolute best and pray that you all stay safe during these times.

Support your local restaurants!

One of the worst ways to support your favorite restaurants is to use 3rd party applications like doordash or opentable. While convenient for the customer, these 3rd party apps are the destroyer of small restaurants, by charging the restaurants a small fortune for their services.

Call your restaurant to make a reservation or to place a take-away order. I know that it’s a mild inconvenience, but connecting directly with your restaurant is actually a better option. Not only do you eliminate the 3rd party middle man extracting fees, many times you get a better table or are directed to a smarter or better order by connecting with someone there in the restaurant who can help you directly.

Please don’t help put your favorite restaurant out of business using these 3rd party small business eliminators.”

Also closed is Juliette Kitchen + Bar on Bristol Street next door to Moulin, which has weathered the coronavirus crisis surprisingly well thanks to its outdoor patio. But another restaurant is already taking shape in the Juliette space. More info on that restaurant when it becomes available.



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