Briefly In Business

Tommy Bahama names manager and chef

Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach has appointed Michael Lowney as general manager and Marcus Jon Keliinui Lage as chef for Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach Bar & Grill, opening Saturday at the historic Heisler Building on South Coast Highway.

Lowney will oversee the front-of-the-house operations for the dining venue, offering contemporary American cuisine in a casual setting, according to Rob Goldberg, senior vice president of restaurants for Tommy Bahama.

Lowney was the general manager for Tommy Bahama's Restaurant & Bar in Maui, Hawaii, from 2004 to 2007.

"Michael was instrumental in the success of the Tommy Bahama retail and dining concept in Maui, and we are thrilled that he will be helping us launch Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach Bar & Grill," Goldberg said.

He was most recently the general manager at Ruth's Chris Steak House, and was an operating partner at Napili Tavern, both in Maui. Prior to that, he worked for Wolfgang Puck as the general manager of the award-winning Spago Maui at the Four Seasons Resort Maui and assistant general manager of Postrio at The Venetian in Las Vegas. He was also recruited by N9NE Group and George Maloof of Palms Casino Resort to be the general manager of N9NE Steakhouse and training manager for Ghostbar Ultra Lounge and Rain Nightclub.

A native of Los Gatos, Calif., Lowney attended San Diego State University. He also owned Los Gatos Bar & Grill in his hometown for three years.

Lage will work closely with Culinary Director Don Donley and helm the kitchen of the 3,000-square-foot restaurant, offering such dishes as the Laguna Burger, Lobster Corn Dogs, Swordfish Sandwich and Poblano Chicken, as well as handcrafted cocktails and craft beers.

Previously Lage was the executive sous chef at Roy's in Newport Beach, where he worked for the last five years.

A graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, he worked in a variety of food industry positions, including as a barista in a local café; a line cook at Regents Point Fine Retirement Living in Irvine; an associate trainer for Panera Bakery Café; and butchering, smoking meat and training staff at Whole Foods Market in Tustin.

Lage is a native of Irvine, and proud of his multi-ethnic descent: Hawaiian, Japanese, French, German, Irish, Swedish, Polish and Cherokee.

Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach will be open for lunch, dinner and cocktails seven days a week at Laguna Avenue and South Coast Highway in downtown Laguna Beach. For reservations, call (949) 376-6886.


Laguna Nursery events in November

Laguna Nursery will hold a holiday gift basket workshop from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday. The $50 fee includes the basket, an orchid, flowering plants and all the trimmings. Kids will have a special station to create an ornament.

The Nursery will hold its annual Fall Cabaret from 7 to 10 p.m. Nov. 12, with live piano, wine and hors d'ouevres. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door. The nursery is also offering a LotusLand Adventure for $175, with a tour of the 37-acre Santa Barbara estate, including snacks and lunch. For tickets, call (949) 494-5200.

November's Laguna Nursery Garden Walks start at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 and 27. Details for the LotusLand and Garden Walks can be found on


Center offers new hearing aid

The Laguna Hearing Aid Center is now one of the first to offer the innovative new MicroTech's Axio ST and HearLens, hearing aid featuring a sophisticated noise reduction and speech preservation system. HearLens is an new style of hearing aid — the first custom, completely invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) digital hearing aid featuring the technology and signal processing of Axio ST, according to the center.

"We are excited to offer this new technology and hearing aid style to our patients," said Robert Nick, of Laguna Hearing Aid Center. "Advancements in technology now give hearing aid wearers more options to find the instrument that is best for both their hearing losses and lifestyles."

Laguna Hearing Aid Center is located at 265 Laguna Ave., Laguna Beach. The shop provides a variety of hearing care services including hearing tests, hearing aid evaluations, otoscopic ear inspections, hearing instrument fittings, repairs, batteries and accessories. For more information, call (949) 494-5646 or visit


Pure Light moves downtown

After 3 ½ years of candle making in Laguna Canyon, Pure Light Candle Studios is moving to the heart of downtown, 540 S. Coast Hwy., Suite 202, in The Collection. Last year, owner Judy Kelly opened a second studio in the Irvine Spectrum Center to see the reaction to the concept where walk-by traffic is a factor.

"The result has been fantastic," said Kelly. "People of all ages really seem to love the idea of being able to create a handmade gift of a candle for someone special, or to be able to share in a fun artistic project with a family member or friend. Others just really seem to love the unique gift offering we have when looking for something a little unusual."

When their canyon lease was up, Kelly began looking for a new home that would make the studio more visible to the public.

"One night my husband, Scot, and I decided to try the new House of Big Fish for dinner and saw the 'For Lease' sign in the building right next door to the restaurant," Kelly said. "While marveling at the amazing view, the high energy of the location and fantastic food at Big Fish, we peaked in the window of the vacant bank building. When we saw the beautiful high-pitched ceiling in the hexagon shaped room we knew it was our new home."

Scot Kelly, a commercial real estate broker, helped secure a lease for the building.

This holiday season, Pure Light will be offering a "Paint and Pour" program where anyone can paint a pot and they will pour it with their choice of fragranced wax, creating a one of a kind container candle. This program will be available Tuesdays in Irvine and Thursdays in Laguna throughout the holiday season and depending on it's success, will continue into the new year.

Pure Light Candle Studio Laguna Beach will hold a grand opening celebration Saturday and Sunday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit or call (949) 376-7200.

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