Memorial Day holiday traffic, Pageant (of the Masters) season, and complaining about how hot it is are just around the corner. To gear up for this celebrated time of the year, we’re ready to share industry peeks at what you can expect this summer. Our first two newsworthy finds are a balanced set of liquid refreshment and savory creativity.
Gunwhale Ales Expansion
Helmed by Co-founders Bobby Fitzerald, Justin Miller and JT Wallace, as well as Head Brewer Kevin Hammons, the crew has set their sights on a destination off the 57. Instinctively, we assumed Anaheim; alas, it was an optical illusion. While they are most definitely off Orangewood, the second branch of Gunwhle Ales is in neighboring Orange– under a mile from the folks at both Golden Road and Karl Strauss. Miller invited us to check out the property in its “before” phase, just as their brewing equipment was arriving on site. The smell of freshly dug up earth and sound of beeping flatbeds greeted us. Per Miller,
More beer! We are excited to join the community of Orange, with our new location on Orangewood, down the street from Angel Stadium. Our new location will allow us to experiment more with wild cultures and produce more of our hop-forward and yeast-driven beers. We look forward to joining the rich beer culture of the surrounding areas of Orange.
Located across from El Camino Real Park, plans include a dedicated shipping container that’ll provide on-site foodservice, plus a series of shade coverings resembling sails to protect their outdoor patio. 9,000 square feet of mostly brewing (with a modest tasting room) is gearing to launch before school lets out. 1501 W. Orangewood Ave., Orange; www.gunwhaleales.com.
BELLO by Sandro Nardone
A culinary graduate from the Istituto Professionale Alberghiero di Cassino, Italy, Chef Sandro Nardone is no stranger to the industry. After working his way through a number of dining establishments, including Ristorante al Mulino (where he focused on perfecting seafood), he packed his bags and moved to the United States. Landing in Irvine, Nardone helped launch a well respected Italian restaurant, but has since parted ways to work on his own concept. Fast forward through a series of sold-out popups in 2018, chef is currently in the build out phase of BELLO.
We are familiar with Sandro through the company he keeps, namely the likes of Dean Kim (OC Baking Company), Tarit Tanjasiri (Crema Cafe), Dee Nguyen (Break of Dawn) and other seasoned pros. The last time our paths crossed was while dining at Lake Forest’s Centro Collective, a local spot specializing in both drool-worthy tacos and creative pizzas. BELLO’s Italian focus will primarily be from Campania Lazio, but will cover cuisine from all over the country. Nardone plans to rotate out half of the menu monthly to introduce new flavors.
Previously, the space was home to Pita Jungle. Locals will know it as the plaza that also houses Champagnes Bistro & Deli. If you drive by BELLO’s future home, you’ll be greeted by a series of window coverings. Our favorite includes one that states: Plane to Italy: $1,400, Italian Hotel: $400, Dinner in Italy: $300, Dinner at Bello: Molto Meno (much less). Chef Nardone sums it up with, “At Bello, we create trends. We don’t follow them.”
Looking forward to crudo with our Italian wine. BELLO is scheduled to open its doors this summer. 1200 Bison Ave., Ste. C2, Newport Beach. Website and phone TBA. On Instagram @bellobysandro.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.