Seeing Stars: Restaurants Owned by the Stars..
 


3333 Bristol St., at South Coast Plaza
(next to Robinsons-May, facing Bristol Street)
Costa Mesa, CA / (714) 708-CLUB




Alas, after ten years in business, the Clubhouse restaurant has announced that they are closing their doors forever on December 31, 2009.

No doubt the recent recession played a role in that decision.

( So, if you've been meaning to go there, and have never gotten around to it, you'd better hurry. )

It's space will be filled by a "Seasons 52" restaurant.

I will leave this article up for a while, for those who are still interested in reading about the Clubhouse, but bear in mind that it was written when the restaurant was open and doing business.


Kevin Costner may have lost his Twin Palms when he and his wife Cindy got a divorce, but that hasn't discouraged him from opening another restaurant, this time with fellow celebrities Robert Wagner, Jack Nicklaus and Fred Couples.

Yes, those last two are pro golfers, and this new golf-themed restaurant is called "The Clubhouse.."

Kevin has always done well with sports films, be it "Field of Dreams." or the recent "For Love of the Game." Remember when he played a golf pro in "Tin Cup"?  Fred Couples was also in that same film.

And Orange County is familiar turf for Costner, who graduated from Cal State Fullerton and once worked at Disneyland.

The idea behind this restaurant is simple: exclusive country clubs offer golfers a posh, members-only clubhouse experience, but since they often charge $50,000 or more in membership fees, the general public rarely gets a chance to sample it. Until now.

Here, at the Clubhouse, they've tried to reproduce that same luxury lifestyle, but one that the public can share.

So here you'll find all the trappings of a Rockefeller experience: marble floors, mahogany doors, velvet drapes, even a stock ticker running atop the handsome bar. In short: a beautiful, cozy place that everyone can afford.

They'll even refer to you as a "member."

The Clubhouse has recruited two of the greatest names in golf as partners: Jack Nicklaus and Fred Couples.

Actor Robert ("R.J.") Wagner is best known for the TV series "Hart to Hart" and "It Takes a Thief." He was married to Natalie Wood, and is currently married to Jill St. John.

Costner and Wagner are both expected to spend time at the restaurant, not, Kevin says, because his contract demands it (it does not) but because he likes the place. He probably does. But it's also obvious that the new restaurant will do much better if its celebrity owners are seen there now & then...

They keep the prices here reasonable. Lunch entrees range from $8.95 to $11.95, while dinner entrees are in the $13.95 to $17.95 neighborhood. Only the desserts are somewhat overpriced.

(OK, if you feel you must spend a lot, they have a separate, pricier menu for those on expense accounts - which includes a New York steak priced at $28.95.)

Portions of the American fare served here are huge. They have a chicken pot pie the size of a dinner plate. And a meatloaf & mashed potato "sundae" piled into a high tower (they like "tall food" here.)

Other dishes include sandwiches, salads, pizza, pasta, and "traditional favorites." such as chicken piccata.

After you're done eating, there's a "pro shop" offering exclusive Clubhouse brands, co-branded merchandise from Nike, Nicklaus, Ashworth, Bobby Jones and Titleist, as well as gifts such as martini glasses

They say they don't want to be a "museum restaurant" (A not-so-subtle reference to the Planet Hollywood across the street, which closed its doors in late 1999, just as the Clubhouse was opening theirs.)

Nor do they want to appeal only to golfers - they have purposely played down the golf element, nixing proposed items such as a putting green inside the restaurant.

They want a restaurant that will appeal to everyone, with an opulent ambiance and good food at reasonable prices. If they can pull that off, they'll probably score a hole-in-one.

Getting there: The restaurant is located at the South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa, about six miles south (and two miles east) of Disneyland. The restaurant is located on the east side of the mall, in between the Carousel Court and Robinsons-May, just off Bristol Street. Take the San Diego (405) Freeway to the Bristol exit, and go north. The restaurant will be on your left (west) side, and is visible from the outside of the mall.




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Copyright  2014-Gary Wayne
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This webpage is not associated with any business described in the article above, and does not constitute an
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