The Winery Restaurant & Bar celebrated its 15th anniversary at The District at Tustin Legacy on Wednesday 5th October. Through the end of the month, owners JC Clow, William Lewis, and chef Yvon Goetz are offering an anniversary special: champagne and caviar for two. (Priced at $115.)
Inspired by wine country, the restaurant’s menu is created by Chef Goetz, who trained in Michelin-star kitchens in England and has cooked under Chef Emile Jung at the three-Michelin-star Le Crocodile in Strasbourg.
Clow and Lewis are veterans of the high-end restaurant world. Before opening The Winery Restaurant & Bar with Executive Chef Goetz, they managed one of Morton’s most successful locations in Costa Mesa for nearly 13 years. They knew how to keep their customers happy even during the leanest of times. They also share a friendship that extends beyond business.
“We became very close,” says Clow. “William was the best man at my wedding.”
In 2007 they opened The Winery. Then came the financial crash of 2008. It took the trio a few years to regain their footing.
“We didn’t see things come back until 2010,” Clow recalls. “So we watched every penny for two years. You had to. We are expected to pay rent and payroll every month. We had so many employees who are important family members to us. They depended on us.”
In 2020, the trio was tested again with fights brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. They managed by switching to takeout and offering groceries for pickup. They took advantage of the outdoor patios at The District at Tustin Legacy and refined the docking and dining options at their Newport Beach location. There was also a third restaurant to operate in La Jolla. But the regulars stayed loyal and business was booming. Private events, wine dinners and tastings kept The Winery’s energy alive as dining rooms were allowed to reopen. The restaurant continues to curate these experiences to this day.
On October 13th, The Winery hosts a dinner with David Phinney and Joe Wagner. The four-course wine menu, prepared by chef Goetz, is one of many events that take place throughout the year.
The air-conditioned cellars hold up to 7,500 bottles and the decade-long relationships with local winemakers and distillers characterize The Winery. Clow, Lewis and Goetz even partnered with a winery in Paso Robles to bottle their own wine called The Boys.
For regulars, part of the magic of The Winery is watching Clow and Lewis interact on the dining room floor.
“We read each other’s minds,” says co-owner William Lewis. “When you’ve worked with someone for so many years and you know what they’re trying to do, a rhythm develops. I was across the dining room and I could hold up a finger or wink at him and he would know exactly what to do. This is how we read each other. And that was the magic of tillage [of the dining room] and that’s what people wanted to see. They wanted to see The Boys.”
Visit: The Winery Restaurant & Bar, The District at Tustin Legacy, 2647 Park Ave., Tustin, 714-258-7600, thewinerytustin.com; 3131 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, 949-999-6622; thewinerynewport.com
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/06/the-winery-restaurant-bar-celebrates-its-15th-anniversary/ The Winery Restaurant & Bar Celebrates 15th Anniversary – Orange County Register