Corona del Mar Today: City saves holiday weekend beach concessions with food trucks

The Big Corona Beach concessions stand won't be open by Memorial Day weekend as planned, but city staff scrambled and arranged for Wahoo's food trucks to be on hand from Saturday through Monday.

Wahoo's owners, who also own the Rooster Cafe in Costa Mesa, were selected from five applications to operate the concessions stand, and city officials stressed the importance of having the business open by this holiday weekend. But delays in equipment deliveries have stalled the opening.

Tara Finnigan, a city spokeswoman, said that the equipment has finally arrived and should be installed early next week, but that an opening date is still unknown.

Meanwhile, she said in an email, she has confirmed that food will be available this weekend.

"The Wahoo's truck will be in the CdM parking lot this Saturday, Sunday and Monday to serve beach visitors during the Memorial Day weekend," her email said.

Big Corona has been without a concessionaire since November 2010, when Fuji Grill closed. The city issued a request for proposals to operate the stand, but the first RFP yielded one application, which the city did not accept. Last summer, city staff arranged for different food trucks to sell refreshments during weekends.

When the new concessions stand opens, it will serve fresh food with nearly all produce from local farmers markets including sandwiches and salads, served in to-go Chinese-food-style containers as well as burgers, hot dogs, fries, ice cream and shaved ice. The stand will rent beach chairs, umbrellas and mats.

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Lot to be repaved

A Newport Beach parking lot near Goldenrod and Fifth avenues will be closed for repaving June 8 and 15, causing Harbor View Elementary School Principal Charlene Metoyer to warn parents to make other parking arrangements those days. The last day of school is June 22.

The lot, which has 11 marked spots including two spots for vehicles with disabled placards, typically is overflowing during Harbor View's drop-off and pick-up times.

Metoyer told parents at a Parent Faculty Organization meeting Thursday morning that city officials left her a telephone message with information about the repaving and said they would begin work at 8:30 a.m., after school begins.

Some parents asked why the work could not be done in summer, when fewer cars would be trying to access the area.

"I think it's really stupid," said parent Mindy Froehlich. "It's challenging enough to drop off the kids without losing those spaces."

The project is part of the city's annual street slurry seal project that has been ongoing in Corona del Mar this spring, city spokeswoman Tara Finnigan wrote in an email.

"In response to the timing question, we have a large amount of ongoing infrastructure work — occurring throughout the city — and that truly requires us to work year-round," she wrote. "Slurry seal projects do create some inconvenience, but the upside is that it's temporary and only requires a street, lane or parking lot to be closed for a short period — usually a few hours during the day."

City staff will work with the contractor to try to accommodate both morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up at the school, she said.

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CdMHS parking lot work

The Corona del Mar High School pool parking lot will be reconfigured, possibly this summer, and a simulation of possible changes will be conducted this week, according to an email sent to parents.

School Resource Officer Vlad A. Anderson, a Newport Beach Police Department officer, sent the email that said he recently had attended a meeting that looked at the changes in the pool lot.

"The suggested changes were significant in that they provide additional parking spaces and substantial 'stacking room' for vehicles along Eastbluff Drive and for those on campus," his email said.

At a PTA meeting this spring, CdM Middle School Principal Guy Olguin said the pool lot and tennis court lots could be connected.

At an October PTA meeting, parents complained about morning drop-off traffic backups at the pool lot off Eastbluff Drive.

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New boutique opens

The Delano Lifestyle Activewear boutique opened this week at 2801 E. Coast Hwy., replacing the controversial I Heart Puppies business with a shop that sells activewear designed by a mother-daughter team.

Britt DeLano said business was going well and she had made several sales. She and her mother, Tamara DeLano, began designing activewear after failing to find products they loved that could take them from the yoga studio or gym to shopping and into evening.

The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

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Amighini Architectural shop to close

Amighini Architectural, which opened in June 2010 at 3429 E. Coast Hwy., will be closing its Corona del Mar shop by the end of June. A sign recently was placed in the shop's window announcing a moving sale and gave addresses for the business' Anaheim and San Diego locations.

The family-owned business was founded in 1951 in Verona, Italy, and has since expanded to three continents, according to an interview with a family member in 2010. The company specializes in salvaging architectural pieces from buildings in Europe, focusing on Italy, then refurbishing and importing the pieces.

The Corona del Mar shop was the company's first retail space.

amy@coronadelmartoday.com

Twitter: @coronadelmartdy

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