As Newport grows, our old beloved businesses and buildings sometimes struggle to keep up with the times. Rent rises, the salt water creeps into the seams of the old wooden structures, and we find ourselves sometimes wondering “whatever happened to the place I grew up in (or moved to)?”
However, that’s not just the case for Newport. Every city throughout the country is affected by aging buildings, as it was already about a century ago when the cities were massively built out on a scale never before seen in history– and now they need expensive repairs.
As we had previously reported, last weekend was the going away party for Original Pizza. Original Pizza had its final open day yesterday, Tuesday, January 21st, 2017, and was a massive blow-out event with 500 partygoers, a live band, vendors, free pizza, and– of course– a beer or two. The party ended in the Original Pizza building with another live band and continued until long after the sun had set. If you were unlucky enough to buy a shirt from a guy in a “Save Dog Beach” hat– that was me! (just my stand raised about a thousand bucks, and all that money went to the cause, too, which were several charities including The Environmental Nature Center, the T1-Diabetes Fund for Kids, the Ben Carlson Foundation, and the Newport Beach Film Festival)
So what will be going in its place? A new concept called “Taco Bell Cantina” will be replacing it shortly, but I am short on details from the owner-to-be, who has been understandably busy and has not gotten back to me on that (yet!). However, so far, there are only three in the country, one in Chicago (opened Sept 22nd of 2015), another in San Fran (just two weeks after Chicago’s opening), and finally one in Vegas (Nov 14, 2016), so this will be the fourth one, and is slated to open sometime before summer (city permits and construction schedules allowing). Like the others, it is slated to serve alcohol, and will also be serving up Taco Bell memorabilia (hats, shirts, bags, bikinis, rings and sweatshirts). Don’t worry, I’ve got ya covered on the early review– I’m heading to Chicago this weekend and will be checking out the one there!
In other news, the beautiful and historic Newport Harbor Yacht Club began demolition yesterday. It’s hallway-centric design created a must-meet corridor, virtually forcing all members to interact with each other each time they came and left the club. As a non-member, I’ve only been in there a dozen times or so, but it’ll be sorely missed by all.
It will be replaced by a new design which will also give a tip of the hat to a more modern design, with a far more open floorplan, allowing for maximum harbor views and moving room within the building. It will also be adding a whopping 3,900 square feet– most of which comes from adding a full second floor, rather than the partial one which was in place until yesterday morning. Suffering from frequent flooding at high tides, raising the building from 7 to 9 feet will also help tremendously. According to the OC Register, the “design guidelines require the new clubhouse match the materials of the existing clubhouse, including white vertical and horizontal wood siding, with sloped roofs to be covered in an asphalt shingle similar to the existing roofs”. A photo of the design concept is below:
Last week I received the news of both the death of my last grandparent and also the news that I was going to be an uncle. Like humans, cities have lifecycles as well. While I mourn the loss of my grandmother, I also must remind myself that we all have a limited time here. And I am really, really excited to become an uncle. 🙂