New Big Corona food stand has soft opening

Beachgoers to Big Corona can finally leave the PB&Js at home and buy a burger and fries instead.

The beach's new concessions stand, the Rooster Cafe, had its soft opening Thursday serving a limited lunch and dinner menu, said Newport Beach spokeswoman Tara Finnigan.

Rooster Cafe has a Costa Mesa location at 750 Saint Clair Street. Yelp reviews note it is known for its affordable and tasty breakfast menu. At night, it turns into Rooster P.M. with a menu of small plates, similar to Spanish tapas.

The stand is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. until school is out, when the cafe will expand its menu to include breakfast and open at 9 a.m., she said.

"We're happy Rooster Café is open for business and believe the concept and menu make it a good fit for the Corona del Mar State Beach concession," Finnigan said.

Officials had hoped the stand would be ready to open for Memorial Day weekend, but the opening was postponed due to delayed equipment deliveries. A Wahoo's Fish Taco truck was on hand to feed beachgoers during that time.

Big Corona visitors have been without an official food vendor since the stand's former operator, Fuji Grill, which tried a joint sit-down and fast food business, closed in November 2010 after 16 months.

The city has had trouble finding the right operator, even though it spent millions in 2005 on a new building and other beach amenities.

Finnigan said it was important to find an operator that would serve the needs of both the visitors and residents. City officials believe the Rooster Cafe satisfies those needs, she said.

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

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