The location: The Yacht Club.


Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. The Newport Bay Yacht Club.


Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. At a Newport Beach marina.


Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. The Yacht Club doesn't appear in seasons one or two, but it becomes a major location in most of the episodes of the show's third season.

    If you see a meeting over lunch, a society party or a big celebration at a fancy restaurant, chances are it is held at the Yacht Club.

    We first see the Yacht Club in Episode 1 of season 3, "The Aftermath": It's where Sandy meets with Jimmy and accuses Julie of bribing Trey to say that Ryan shot him.

    It pops up again in the very next episode, "The Shape Of Things To Come", where Jimmy meets with his loan shark at the bar of the Yacht Club, and asks to borrow even more money.

    It's also where Jimmy proposes (again) to Julie.

    In Episode 3, "The End of Innocence", Julie and Jimmy discuss their impending marriage while at the Club, and agree it might take place at the Yacht Club.

    In Episode 4, "The Last Waltz", con artist Charlotte meets with Kirsten and tries to talk her into investing 2 million in her sham halfway house scheme, and is shocked to learn that Kirsten doesn't have any money to invest.

    In Episode 6, "The Swells", Julie has lunch with Charlotte there, who offers to help Julie throw a fundraising party to help her get back into society.

    In Episode 7, "The Anger Management" we see the fake charity fund-raiser event (staged by Charlotte), which takes place at the Yacht Club. It's there the Seth first sees Taylor's awful mother, and Taylor gives him a rare Japanese DVD as a gift. It's during this party at the Club that Julie finally gets a conscience (about hurting her friend, Kirsten) and blows Charlotte's con game out of the water (and, as a result, ends up in the trailer park). It's from here that Volchok abducts Marissa, forcing Ryan into a fight under the pier.

    It's back again in Episode 8, "The Game Plan", where Kirsten offers Julie a partnership in a new matchmaker business.

    The bar at the Yacht Club is where Sandy hires Matt, and where they celebrate their new partnership.

    In Episode 21, "The Dawn Patrol", Matt, having been fired, meets with Sandy at the Yacht Club and tries to blackmail Griffin (via Sandy) with incriminating papers. (This ultimately ends with him being beaten up at his apartment by Griffin's thugs.)

    In Episode 24, "The Man of the Year", Sandy meets with the D.A. at the Yacht Club about testifying against Griffin. In the same episode, Seth is arrested by the police at the Yacht Club for accidentally burning down the Newport Group.

    And in the final, tragic episode of Season 3 (Episode 25, "The Graduates"), the Yacht Club is the scene of the big post-graduation celebration dinner with the whole gang, where Sandy gives his speech. And it's outside the Yacht Club that, Ryan's mother presents him with a used car (a Toyota 4-Runner) as a graduation gift.


Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. An actual restaurant, but not a yacht club, and not in Newport.


Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. It's the Bluewater Grill, located at 665 N Harbor Drive, at the Redondo Beach Marina (King Harbor), in Redondo Beach. It's right next to (just north of) the Balboa Lighthouse... literally a stone's throw away.

    They usually focus on the southeast corner of the restaurant exterior, where they put up a fake sign reading "The Newport Bay Yacht Club" and a blue awning with a Yacht Club emblem (the restaurant's real awning is green & white). Inside, much of the action focuses on the bar area (where they put up a trophy case and some boat models).

    The Bluewater Grill is a nice upscale dining spot, with lots of light wood, and as you might expect, it shares with the Lighthouse a very similar view of the boats in the marina outside its windows. For menus, see our O.C. restaurants page.

    Here's a photo I shot of the restaurant in 2006:

    Here is an aerial photo map link. (Zoom out for more detail of the area.)

    And here is a link to the restaurant's official website.

    (By the way, Bluewater Grill has another location that's actually in Newport Beach, at 630 Lido Park Drive.)


Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. Even though the Yacht Club is strictly a Season 3 location, I'm including it here because it is so close to the other locations in the Redondo Marina. I discovered it while researching the location of the Balboa Lighthouse. In fact, for a while, based on the parking lot, I thought that this restaurant might have been the Lighthouse. I found out that it wasn't, but my inquiries also resulted in an email from the Bluewater Grill, informing me that it was used in the third season as the Yacht Club (both exterior shots and an aerial).




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THE O.C. screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.
All other photos & text are Copyright © 2011-Gary Wayne and may not be used without written permission.



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