Going vegan has never been more popular in Southern California than it is right now. Cafe Gratitude, the plant-based casual eatery that just put a new outpost right in the heart of the Arts District, is riding that plant-based wave all the way down to Orange County, where they’ll be installing a whole new restaurant in Newport Beach.
Except this one is going upscale.
The new format is a bit of a departure for the Cafe Gratitude folks, who have done well with the casual salad-or-a-sandwich crowds for years now. They also operate Gracias Madre, their fully vegan Mexican restaurant known for churning out 1,000 margaritas a day for West Hollywood folks who want to drink well on their excellent patio.
Named simply Gratitude, the finer dining option in Newport Beach will still rely on Dreux Ellis’ cooking and Jason Eisner’s cocktail program, but will go more upscale in its approach. That means larger format dinner plates and a more formal white tablecloth appeal. The restaurant is situated at one of the many new mixed-use spots going up in the area, this one called Castaways Commons on Westcliff Drive.
The location will join a handful of other restaurant and retail outposts, along with a Gratitude To-Go nearby, measuring only 200 sq. ft. and letting customers quickly grab lunchtime items and fresh-pressed juices.
Build-out of the raw space is about to get started, with a targeted late 2015 opening date in the works. In the meantime, there are also plans to open another Cafe Gratitude, the more casual current option, down in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, complete with a 1,200 sq. ft. patio. Look for that to arrive this summer.
Gratitude Newport Beach
1617 Westcliff Dr.
Newport Beach, CA