SOL Cocina Acquired by Corporate Restaurant Group

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SOL founder and chef Deborah Schneider.
— Photo by Christopher Trela ©

SOL Cocina on Coast Highway in Newport Beach opened in 2009 and quickly carved a niche in the culinary community by serving authentic south-of-the-border cuisine in an upscale, buoyant ambiance. The restaurant’s success is a tribute to Chef Deborah Schneider, whose fresh interpretation of Coastal Mexican dishes made an impression on the local dining scene.

Schneider went on to open additional SOL restaurants in Scottsdale, Playa Vista and Denver, as well as the offshoot Solita in Huntington Beach and Valencia.

This week, word came that Xperience Restaurant Group, one of the largest operators of full-service Mexican restaurants based in California, has acquired the SOL Mexican Cocina and solita brands.

According to a press release, XRG’s portfolio, which consists of leading Mexican restaurant brands such as El Torito and Chevys Fresh Mex, has now expanded the Company’s total unit count to 62 corporate-managed units.

“With the rapid transformation of the casual dining sector in recent years, it is more important than ever for brands to provide a unique experience for customers, which has long been a hallmark of both SOL and solita,” stated Randy Sharpe, Chief Executive Officer of Xperience Restaurant Group, in the press release.

Other Xperience Restaurant Group concepts include Acapulco, Chevys Fresh Mex, El Torito, El Torito Grill, Las Brisas, Who Song and Larry’s, and Sinigual.

Hopefully SOL will not change much, because the formula created by Chef Schneider works perfectly. Her menu is focused on fresh, sustainable ingredients and fun takes on authentic south-of-the-border cuisine.

“SOL’s menu stays true to the simple and fresh Baja style of cooking, with flavorful dishes built around fresh seafood, premium meats, and more than a dozen fresh salsas made daily,” Schneider told me soon after her restaurant opened, and that style has not changed.

For more information, visit solcocina.com.

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