Biz News: New craft brewery and restaurant Helmsman Ale House to replace Newport Beach Brewing Co.


Newport Beach-based LoungeGroup has announced that a new craft brewery called Helmsman Ale House is coming to Newport’s Balboa Peninsula.

The 4,200-square-foot sea-themed brewery, set to open this summer, will feature 14 beers on tap, as well as a family-friendly restaurant serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Helmsman will replace Newport Beach Brewing Co., which closed in November after 23 years in business at 2920 Newport Blvd.

The new effort is headed by Mario Marovic and Andrew Gabriel, who owned Newport Beach Brewing and also own Dory Deli, Stag Bar + Kitchen and Malarky’s Irish Pub in Newport Beach, among other concepts in Orange County.

“We have a deep-rooted local connection with the communities of each location [of our businesses], which is key to understanding what each area responds well to,” Marovic said in a statement. “The Helmsman site has been home to a brewpub for over 20 years, and with our makeover we hope to be here another 20 and beyond.”

Dylan Mobley, formerly of Stone Brewing Co., Angel City Brewery and Bottle Logic Brewing, has been named head brewer.

Ex-Congressman Rohrabacher joins cannabis company’s advisory board

Former longtime Orange County Congressman Dana Rohrabacher announced that he has joined — a cannabis social media site — as a shareholder and an advisory board member.

“It’s an issue of freedom,” Rohrabacher said in a statement Wednesday. “We want to continue the fight for legalization until every American adult has the freedom to decide if medical cannabis is right for them.”

Rohrabacher, a Republican, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988 and served for three decades. Most recently, he represented the 48th Congressional District, which runs between Seal Beach and Laguna Niguel and includes Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Newport Beach, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Beach, as well as parts of Westminster and Garden Grove.

He lost his seat in 2018 to current Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach).

During his time in Congress, Rohrabacher professed support for marijuana legalization and “co-sponsored an amendment to discourage federal law enforcement from cracking down on marijuana industries legalized in California and 30 other states,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“The Rohrabacher–Farr amendment has been a revolutionary turning point in cannabis history that gave birth to this whole new billion-dollar industry and national movement toward legal cannabis,” BudTrader Chief Executive Brad McLaughlin said in a statement. “Without Dana and the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, the legal cannabis market would not exist as it does now. The entire cannabis industry owes Dana a great debt.”

UPS strikes $95-million deal with Newport energy company

United Parcel Service Inc. has agreed to buy the equivalent of 170 million gallons of renewable natural gas from Newport Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. over the next seven years, according to Bloomberg News.

The estimated $95-million deal, described as the biggest ever involving the alternative fuel, will be used for UPS’ ground transportation.

H.B.-based Boardriders laying off 40 workers after merger

Boardriders, a Huntington Beach-based surf clothing company formerly known as Quiksilver, is laying off 40 employees, according to a report from

The company is in the midst of merging operations after acquiring Billabong International in a $162-billion deal completed in April.

Event raises $1 million for Hoag Family Cancer Institute

The 32nd annual Circle 1000 Founders’ Celebration Brunch recently raised more than $1 million to benefit the Hoag Family Cancer Institute, according to a news release.

The event, held April 25 at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach, has raised more than $20 million in its history.

“Thanks to philanthropy, Hoag Family Cancer Institute is currently running 31 Phase 1 clinical trials, with many more in development,” Mary Buckingham, chairwoman of the brunch, said in a statement. “The number of patients enrolled in these trials has doubled in the past year. Imagine the hope and gratitude those patients and their families feel, knowing they’re benefiting from these promising new treatment options.”

Rams COO to speak at Costa Mesa event

The Orange County Business Council will present a breakfast Tuesday featuring Kevin Demoff, chief operating officer and executive vice president of football operations for the Los Angeles Rams.

The event at the Center Club in Costa Mesa will begin with registration at 7:15 a.m. Tickets start at $85 for Business Council members.

The Center Club is at 650 Town Center Drive. For more information, visit or call (949) 476-2242.

Pacific Club to host Women in Leadership Speaker Series event

The Pacific Club in Newport Beach will host a Women in Leadership Speaker Series event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The featured guest is Wendy Dailey, president and co-founder of International Sanctuary, which helps women escape human trafficking.

Tickets start at $40.

The Pacific Club is at 4100 MacArthur Blvd. For tickets and more information, visit

Newport management company opens Buena Park’s first hotel in 20 years

Twenty Four Seven Hotels, a Newport Beach-based hotel management, investment and development company, recently opened a Hampton Inn & Suites in Buena Park.

The 102-room property at 7307 Artesia Blvd. is Buena Park’s first hotel development in more than 20 years, according to a news release.

Mesa Verde Country Club project is named a top renovation

Golf Inc. magazine named Mesa Verde Country Club’s $7.3-million renovation project as the No. 3 renovation of the year, with judges noting the Costa Mesa facility’s “simple changes with significant impact.”

The magazine added that the project used “existing conditions wisely with maximum effect.”

Golf Inc. also noted that since the renovation, the member-owned club went from having 33 memberships for sale to a waiting list.

Balboa Peninsula building sells for $5.7 million

A mixed-use building near the Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach recently sold for $5.7 million.

The 17-unit building at 303 Main St., near Edgewater Place, contains 12 residential units and five retail tenants. The buyer, an investor from the Calabasas area, plans to renovate the property, according to a news release.

Newport-based Vital Data Technology names new COO

Vital Data Technology LLC, a Newport Beach-based data science healthcare solutions company, has named Doug Downing as chief operating officer.

Downing has more than 30 years’ experience in a variety of industries. He last served as senior vice president of operations at Inovalon, a healthcare information technology provider, according to a news release. He is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and USC.

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