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Briefly In Business

Blue Laguna marks first anniversary

The Blue Laguna Restaurant and Lounge is throwing a birthday bash in honor of its first year. The establishment opened its doors Aug. 9, 2008.

“I am taken back on how welcoming and supportive the local community has been since we opened a year ago," said owner/operator Wilton Briscoe. “A big part of our success has come from Laguna residence opening up to us about what they like about this town and what they want from the local venues. I feel like we have been a part of the community much longer than just one year."

A special “Friends and Family" pre-celebration event will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday with entertainment by Eeday Reggae Duo. TJ the deejay will continue the celebration spinning to the general public from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the bar. A raffle will be held and announced at midnight giving away dinner for two and a night stay at the Holiday Inn Hotel, which is situated behind the restaurant and lounge.


Blue Laguna’s staff says they all feel like one big family.

“I see Wilton as a one-man wolf pack starting out with an idea to open a bar," said Wednesday night deejay, Cyrus Polk. “As he adds members to his staff, we become a growing part of his wolf pack and vision."

The Blue Laguna Restaurant and Lounge is at 696 S. Coast Hwy. For more information, call (949) 278-6100 or visit

SWA wins design project in Mexico


SWA Group has won a design competition to provide master planning and landscape architecture improving sustainability for the 247-acre campus of the University of Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico. The assignment includes a phase-one implementation of site design for the Art and Design School Building under construction by noted architect Tadao Ando, 1995 winner of the Pritzker Prize.

SWA’s assignment for the University of Monterrey, Mexico’s premier institution of higher education, will help transform the campus from a vehicular orientation to one that encourages pedestrian, bicycle and transit use. The master plan will also incorporate greater sustainability by use of indigenous plant materials, natural water-retention and filtration, low maintenance landscaping as well as site-design strategies to enhance the learning and collaboration among students and faculty.

Ando’s structure, called the Gate of Creation, is a $34.5 million project encompassing 94,000 square feet, with spaces for design, research, teaching and exhibition, as well as 22 laboratories and workshops. According to the university, the building will help it establish Mexico and Latin America as a leader in the education of art, architecture and design.

“The landscape architecture and site design effort is both a challenge and an honor that we are thrilled to be undertaking," said Rene Bihan, SWA’s San Francisco-based managing principal overseeing the design team. “We will be working with the architect and the university to provide a proper landscape backdrop to what is considered one of the most significant architectural buildings in all of Latin America, while also helping the university move its campus to a higher level of sustainability."

SWA Group has completed related assignments in the region including the award-winning Las Ventanas in Cabo San Lucas. It provided landscape architecture for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art, Stanford University, Soka University and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Tokyo.

SWA Group, established in 1957, is an international landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm with offices in Laguna Beach, San Francisco, Sausalito, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston and Shanghai. For more information, visit