Restaurant group from the Great White North opens shop in Orange County

Joey Newport Beach opened its doors at Fashion Island on Jan. 19.
(Christina Gandolfo / CGandolfo Pictures, Inc.)

On a recent afternoon at Joey in Newport Beach, each arriving guest was greeted with a glass of sparkling wine. The bubbly is part of the way Joey creates a feeling of elegance at the casual upscale concept.

“We are thrilled to announce the opening of Joey Newport Beach and continue our growth in California,” President of the Joey Restaurant Group Layne Krienke said in a statement.

The Canadian restaurant group opened the doors to the Newport Beach location at Fashion Island, in the space formerly occupied by upscale Hawaiian-influenced restaurant Roy’s, on Jan. 19. The restaurant is the group’s fourth in California and first in Orange County. Other SoCal locations include downtown L.A., Manhattan Beach and Woodland Hills.

Hummus topped with tzatziki, dill, olives and served with crispy pita at Joey Newport Beach.
(Sarah Mosqueda)

The menu at Joey Newport Beach features house-made hummus, burgers, sushi, a selection of steaks and pasta, like steak and ravioli bianco, with slices of grilled sirloin and shrimp served in a truffle beurre blanc sauce. Pasta was a big part of the original concept, Joey Tomato’s, when it first opened in 1992 in Calgary, Alberta. In 2005, the name was shortened to simply Joey, and Asian cuisine and a sushi program was introduced to the menu.

The menu at the Newport Beach location features global cuisine that continues to grow.

“As a chef I’ve always been inspired by the high-quality fresh produce available at your fingertips in the great state of California,” said Matthew Stowe, Joey’s executive director of culinary, in a statement. “The Joey menu has immensely evolved since we first came to California to open Joey Woodland Hills in 2015, and it has been an exciting challenge to enhance and develop new dishes that continue to celebrate our globally inspired cuisine, while staying true to the restaurant’s roots.”

“She Pretty” cocktail at Joey Newport Beach.
The “She Pretty” cocktail at Joey Newport Beach, made with fresh raspberries, lemon juice, cane syrup, rose water and egg white.
(Sarah Mosqueda)

The bar program features twists on the classics, like a highball with lemon and lime slush as well as the debut of the Joey Reserve wine list curated by group sommelier Jason Yamasaki. Other unique offerings include spirits, like a limited-edition Joey Reserve Peach Brûlée bourbon whiskey created by the Joey bar team in collaboration with Maker’s Mark Distillery and a selection of zero proof cocktails.

The dining room is designed with natural, warm materials, like brick, wood, stone and leather, lit by Bocci light installations and featuring art from local artists and Joey’s signature showcase kitchen. The dining room opens up to a 1,992-square-foot patio with a retractable roof where fire pits and live trees surrounded by circular teak benches encourage socializing.

The interior of Joey Newport Beach with materials like light brick, warm wood, stone and leather.
Joey Newport Beach was designed with natural, warm materials like light brick, warm wood, stone and leather.
(Christina Gandolfo / CGandolfo Pictures, Inc.)

The afternoon was cool but sunny, and the large dining room filled up quickly. Guests sipped their champagne flutes while waiting for a table.

“The residents of California have embraced us so warmly, and to be able to expand further, and join the discerning Newport Beach community, is a very exciting opportunity,” said Krienke.

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