The partners behind A Restaurant and A Market in Newport Beach are starting a new endeavor down the highway in Corona del Mar.
They’re calling the place CdM, a common abbreviation for the coastal neighborhood, as well as the local high school, and it’s slated to open in March.
Jonathan Blackford, also of A Restaurant, is designing the menu, which draws its influence from “America’s melting pot of cuisine.”
That means steak, fish, pizza baked in a wood stone oven, and pasta made in unique shapes. Add to that an in-house, dry curing cabinet for custom charcuterie.
“It’s accessible and delicious,” partner Joseph McGinty Nichol said in a recent interview at CdM, then still under construction.
Nichol, who goes by “McG,” is a Newport native, Corona del Mar High graduate and Hollywood veteran whose directorial credits include “Terminator Salvation” and “Charlie’s Angels.”
CdM will feature a ground-floor restaurant and bar. A small speakeasy-style barroom with a 1940s vintage photo booth is planned for the space below. A once-functioning apartment above the restaurant may be transformed into a private space themed after “The Apartment,” Billy Wilder’s 1960 romantic comedy.
During a walkthrough, McG noted how CdM will feature a host of custom details, such as a 150-year-old floor, which once lined a Chicago factory, and light fixtures from salvage shipyards. The partners are also selecting unique chairs for each table.
CdM will ensure “no set of vintage salt and pepper shakers are alike,” according to a press release.
“We’re always looking for things that are interesting,” McG said. “We want something handmade, bespoke, odd ... we always want to add oddness and quirk.”
McG and his partner, Jordan Otterbein, noted how CdM’s building at 2325 E. Coast Hwy. most recently housed the Crow Bar and Kitchen, but before that, it was Matteo’s Italian Restaurant, one of John Wayne’s hangouts.
Matteo's closed in 1993 after a 23-year run. Somewhere at CdM, you’ll find one of Wayne’s Scotch glasses, they promised me.