The location: Shoreline Village.

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

    A. Various locations, including the Pier, the Toledo Grill restaurant, and the site of the school carnival.

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

    A. Various locations around Newport.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. We saw Shoreline Village at least two times.

    First, in Episode 21 (of season one), "The Goodbye Girl", we saw it posing as the Toledo Grill, when Caleb & Kirsten have dinner together at an outdoor cafe next to a marina.

    And we saw it again, in that same episode (after Theresa left), posing as the Pier, when Ryan & Seth relaxed on a bench eating pizza, talking about their love lives. (See the photo in the upper right corner of this page.)

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. Shoreline Village is a charming, nautically-themed shopping & dining village in Long Beach, CA. (Not to be confused with the older Fisherman's Village in Marina Del Rey.) Built around the Shoreline marina, it's boardwalk is picture-perfect for a summer stroll, or for a TV show looking to capture life on the Southern California coast. In real life, the Village offers a fine view of the Queen Mary and the blue Long Beach bay, intriguing restaurants like Parker's Lighthouse, and it is within walking distance of both the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and the new Pike at Rainbow Harbor development. (A small cafe there called Stephano's also sells a good slice of pizza, which is probably what Ryan and Seth were eating in that episode.)

I shot the two photos below in 2006 - the top one shows Parker's Lighthouse restaurant (to the left) and a lighthouse in a park (to the right).
The lower photo shows some of the Village shops by the Shoreline Marina.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. You'll find Shoreline Village just past the southern end of the Long Beach (710) freeway, at 429 Shoreline Village Drive, in Long Beach, CA. That's on the south side of Shoreline Drive, just east of the new Aquarium of the Pacific

    Here is where the individual scenes were shot there:

    • There is no real Toledo Grill. Near the northwest corner of the Shoreline Village marina, there is a pedestrian bridge which crosses over busy Shoreline Drive (to the LB convention center). To get up to this pedestrian bridge, you walk up a spiral ramp. To create the faux sidewalk restaurant (The Toledo Grill) for that scene, the producers simply set up tables & umbrellas on the top level of that spiral ramp, getting a good view of the Shoreline Marina below, in the process. Look closely, and you can see the Shoreline Village shops in the background, across the marina - especially The Yardhouse, a real brewery/restaurant on the Village's east side.

Below, in the photo to the left, you can see the Queen Mary dome in the background.

In the photo to the right, you can see (in the background) the Yard House restaurant at Shoreline Village.


Here's is a photo map link to that spiral ramp. (Don't confuse this pedestrian bridge with another bridge farther to the west on Shoreline Drive - which is shaped like a roller coaster. The bridge they used in the O.C. is not shaped like a roller coaster.)

Here (above) is a photo I shot in 2006 of that pedestrian ramp.

Below is a photo I shot from the top of that ramp, showing a view similar to the background in that Caleb/Kirsten scene:

    • The scene where Seth & Ryan relax on the bench while eating pizza was shot in almost the same spot as the one where they created the Toledo Grill (only a down on ground level and a little bit to the east). They simply placed a bench on the public walkway, with its back up against the railing which keeps people from falling into the marina. (In real life, there is no bench at that spot.) Look at the close-up photo below, and you can see the unusual shapes of the Shoreline Village shops across the marina. (Compare them to this photo of the shops, which I shot in 2006.)

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

    A. I've been to Shoreline Village many times, and I recognized it instantly when I saw its buildings in the background of two of the scenes shot there.

    Tracking down the exact location of the fake Toledo Grill took a visit to the Village, armed with a printout of the screen capture. At first, I thought they just set up tables on the broad sidewalk on the north side of the marina, but the match wasn't quite right. Then I noticed that the same bronze-colored railing seen in the photo (which runs along the path) is also on the spiral ramp up to the foot bridge. So I walked up it, and sure enough - when I got to the top, the circles on the ground, the brick paving, the railing and the view all matched up perfectly.

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