Greer's OC: Sweet shop opens in Newport

RestaurantsDining and DrinkingFitnessNicole KidmanGeorge ClooneyCindy CrawfordDaniel Craig

Searching for sweets near the beach? Lollishop will take care of your candy fix. Owner Kim Keirstead grew up in Newport Beach and just opened the fantastic candy store across from City Hall in Newport Beach.

But her mission is more than supplying lollipops, novelty candies and holiday-themed sweets to customers. She hopes to inspire other merchants to open in this area.

"I have lived in Newport Beach my entire life, and I have very fond memories of riding my bike to this area and spending hours looking through all of the cute and interesting shops," Keirstead said. "I am doing my best to restore a sense of community to a part of town that has a rich past and a promise of a great future."

Lollishop stocks a huge selection of candy, including Zots, M&M's, Taffy Town taffy, award-winning "U Be the Fudge," caramel apples, B. Toffee, Blue Bunny novelty ice cream and much more.

With Halloween around the corner, it's also the perfect resource for special trick-or-treat sweets.

Mention Greer's OC in the shop and receive a free little bag of candy corn or pumpkin creams with your purchase. It's open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday; and it's at 436 32nd St. in Newport Beach. For more information, call (949) 791-8165, or visit http://www.lollishopnb.com.

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Opium hour at Starfish

Starfish Laguna just announced a new twist on happy hour: Opium hour lasts from 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays through Fridays. It's a great time to try opium bites for $5 (they're normally priced from $8 to $14), or $8 cocktails, and beer and wine specials.

Favorites from the opium bites menu include: Korean galbi tacos, a trio of corn tortillas with avocado, tobiko caviar, scallions, pine nuts, truffle oil and crispy taro chips; or order some Kobe banh mi beef sliders with sweet baked mini buns, pickles carrots, daikon, spicy sriracha aioli, and cilantro; or chicken lumpia with roasted teriyaki dark meat chicken, carrot, cabbage, mung bean sprouts, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic chives, scallions, and sweet and sour dipping sauce.

Late-night guests can take advantage of specials from 10 p.m. to midnight. Starfish Laguna, at 30832 S. Coast Hwy., is open for dinner from 4 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; and 4 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call (949) 715-9200, or visit http://www.starfishlaguna.com.

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New look at Pure Barre

Come in and celebrate the grand reopening of Pure Barre Newport Beach with its new look and expanded studio, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 18. Plus, you can take advantage of free classes being offered all day. Enjoy delicious drinks and eats and everyone's favorite, Nothing Bundt Cakes and sip on some award-winning ONEHOPE Wine.

The studio looks better than ever with boutique style touches like light blue walls, stunning hardwood floors, and a spacious new workout room that boasts an upgraded sound system and flooring. In case you're new to the Pure Barre technique, it's an intense 55-minute session that combines elements of cardio, yoga,Pilates and ballet and light weights to lift, tone and burn like calories.

It's designed to transform your body with toned and thin thighs, lifted seats and toned arms and abs. It's offering a new client special: Only $100 for unlimited classes for one month. Special discounts and packages are also available for brides, students and expectant mothers or new moms. Pure Barre Newport Beach is at 234 E. 17th St., Suite 116, Costa Mesa.

For more information, call (949) 230-9131, or visit http://www.purebarre.com/CA-newportbeach/.

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OMEGA now at South Coast Plaza

South Coast Plaza just opened the first OMEGA flagship boutique featuring the renowned Swiss watch company's entire collection, including exclusive pieces only found at OMEGA flagship stores.

At a recent tour of the boutique with Stephen Urquhart, president of Omega, we were once again reminded of the rich history of its watches that makes OMEGA an iconic brand.

OMEGA was responsible for the world's first dive watch (created in 1932), and Buzz Aldrin wore the Speedmaster, the first watch on the moon. Plus, OMEGA is the official timekeeper for theOlympic Games.

Urquhart talked about its celebrity ambassadors, including Nicole Kidman, Cindy Crawford, George Clooney, and Daniel Craig, who came on board in 2010 with a very hands-on and meaningful mission to fight preventable blindness.

Craig is promoting the limited edition OMEGA Hour Vision Blue watch, and with each one sold, a portion is donated to ORBIS and its Flying Eye Hospital that's bringing eye care to remote regions in the world.

This exquisite timepiece includes a 360-degree see-through case-body, a stainless steel outer case, a Co-Axial calibre 8500 movement, a brushed blue dial, 18-karat white gold hour, minute and seconds hands, a date window, a black leather strap, and is water resistance up to 330 feet.

Other OMEGA favorites are the number one selling watch at the boutique, the OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Watch and its beautiful collection of ladies' timepieces: Ladymatic (its newest line of mechanical watches for women), the Constellation, De Ville and much more. There's also a section dedicated to fine jewelry and leather, and customer service area offering expert consultation and warranty services.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sundays; and it's on Level 2, at South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. For more information, call (714) 850-0558, or visit http://www.omegawatches.com.

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Come and get it

Craving award-winning barbecue pulled pork and tasty baby back ribs? You're in luck. The Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times just crowned Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill as the best barbecue in OC, and in SoCal respectively.

Now, Irvine Spectrum Center boasts a new Wood Ranch that's the best-looking location we've ever been in. We love the contemporary interior, attention to detail and fantastic wood ceilings.

At Wood Ranch, start with its famous slightly buttered garlic rolls, then depending on what you're hungry for, choose from certified Angus beef steaks and burgers; prime rib; slow-roasted, mesquite-grilled tri-tip roasts; premium American baby back ribs; Carolina pulled pork; and locally-raised fresh chicken.

Fresh seafood options include Idaho trout and Atlantic salmon menu, as well as unique salads, and delicious desserts meant to be shared. For kids 10 and younger, there's an award-winning children's menu that was named "One of the Best Kids Menus in America" by Restaurant Hospitality magazine. They can choose from BBQ tri-tip sandwiches ($6.99), beef ribs ($5.99), mac and cheese ($5.49) and more. All meals come with a side dish and milk, chocolate milk, fresh lemonade, or soda.

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily, beginning at 11 a.m. Stop in for happy hour, from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and enjoy specials on drinks and appetizers in an interior sporting a great bar with big screen TVs, or outside on the patio to enjoy the weather.

Wood Ranch is adjacent to Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21 at Irvine Spectrum Center, 57 Fortune Drive, Suite 230 in Irvine. For more information, call (949) 337-4855, or visit http://www.woodranch.com.

GREER WYLDER is the founder and president of greersoc.com, a free daily email service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. She can be contacted at greer@greersoc.com.

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