El Cholo owner to take over closed Ritz restaurant in Newport Beach – Orange County Register

The owner of the El Cholo restaurants in Southern California said he has signed a lease to take over the closed The Ritz Prime Seafood space in Newport Beach.

Ron Salisbury, whose grandparents launched the Sonora Cafe (later renamed El Cholo) in Los Angeles in 1923, said he plans to open a yet-to-be-named Italian steakhouse. He’s hired Costa Mesa-based Hatch Design Group to redesign the glamorous waterfront space. The new decor will be polished, but less glitzy — more of a “Cape Cod look,” said Salisbury, who also owns The Cannery in Newport Beach.

The Italian steakhouse, he said, will serve prime steaks and classic pastas and salads.

“It’s food that’s been around a long time, but served in the best we can,” Salisbury said.

The menu is meant be inviting to attract frequent visitors, as opposed to special occasion visits. Like the Cannery, he said the Coast Highway restaurant will be “waterfront casual.”

To enhance the view, Salisbury said the landlord has already made changes to the boat slips in front of the restaurant. While the Ritz was in operation, towering yachts often blocked the pristine waterfront view.

When the steakhouse opens, only boats less than 10 feet tall will be allowed to dock in front of the restaurant. This will allow guests a better experience, especially during sunset. Unblocking the view “was essential” part of the lease negotiations, Salisbury said.

“You now have a beautiful panoramic view including sunset every night,” he said.

Woodland Hills-based Grill Concepts, the parent company of the Daily Grill and The Grill on the Alley, had hoped to revive the landmark Ritz Restaurant in a new location on West Pacific Coast Highway. The…

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