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Newport Beach Pier Restaurant

Newport Beach officials are looking for a new restaurant for the empty building at the end of the Newport Pier. 

Newport Beach is looking for a new restaurant to fill the empty building at the end of the Newport Pier – and has at least one likely suitor. City Council members agreed Tuesday night to issue a request for restaurant proposals, which staff expected would go out in late March and come back to the council for a decision sometime after that. Council members were swayed, in part, by the news that representatives from the Bluewater Grill in Newport Beach inspected the building last week and were likely interested. “You never want to give up the bird in hand,” Councilman Tony Petros said. “I’m interested to see what this proposal would bring to us.” Chris Harrington, a real estate broker who represents the Bluewater Grill, said his clients would like to help the city draw visitors to the pier and turn the empty eatery into “an iconic destination.” Councilman Ed Selich said the Bluewater Grill had tackled a similar challenge recently when it turned around a formerly run-down restaurant site in Avalon. “They’ve got a pretty successful formula,” he said. The restaurant space has stood empty since late 2012, when the Newport Pier Grill & Sushi Bar closed after years at the site. Community Development Director Kim Brandt said the city still needs to work out how a future tenant and the city would divvy up the cost of fixing the vacant building, which needs an estimated $400,000 in repairs. She said she didn’t expect the rehab to require a permit from the California Coastal Commission. Late last year, council members discussed several ideas for the site, such as demolishing the empty restaurant to make way for art exhibits or cultural events or hosting food trucks. Staff members said they had discussed these ideas with Coastal Commission staff, who were supportive but wouldn’t say what conditions they might impose after the building was torn down. Building demolition would require a permit from the Coastal Commission, Brandt said. Brandt said they might model the city’s request for proposals on the most recent one issued by Seal Beach, which is hunting for a replacement for the empty Ruby’s at the end of its pier. Contact the writer: or Twitter:@nicolekshine

Published Thursday, January 30, 2014 11:04 AM by Brian Liberto

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About Brian Liberto

Brian Liberto represents the coast’s finest properties with an exceptional skill for innovative technology..He has a clear understanding of the mindset of luxury home buyers and sellers and undoubtedly meets their expectations. For sellers, today’s technology allows us to reach millions of qualified prospective buyers and sellers world-wide in real time. Nearly 87% of home buyers initiate their home search on the internet. We utlize technology via Facebook, Twitter, Zillow, Realtytrac, and Utube to sell your home today. We turn Browers into Buyers ! Our commitment: provide our clientele with the best in real estate representation & marketing services. Whether buying or selling, we strive to make the entire experience rewarding by exceeding your expectations & providing an extraordinary result