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Tavern House Proves That When One Door Closes, Another One Opens

Written By: Brittany Lawrence
Photographed By: Rod Foster Tavern House Newport Beach

When deciding on a spot to go out to eat, what is it you look for the most? Whether it is the menu, the bar, location or vibe, Tavern House in Newport Beach has all of your bases covered. Taking over the previous establishment 3-Thirty-3 Waterfront, partner duo Chef David Wilhelm and Gregg Solomon transformed this amazingly-located spot into a new concept unique to the area.  

Chef Wilhelm fell in love with the restaurant business after working as a waiter in New York while in college. After getting into the restaurant industry in the early ‘70s, Chef Wilhelm moved to Laguna Beach in 1976. “I was pretty shocked to discover the lack of creative, chef-driven restaurants in Orange County,” Chef Wilhelm said. “Eventually, this led me to open my first restaurant in Corona del Mar called PAVE in the early ‘80s. Based upon its success, I’ve now developed 20 concepts since then.”

So how did this new project come about? “A good friend and previous partner, Gregg Solomon, had been in conversations with the previous owner about taking over and rebranding the operation. Considering our great relationship, he approached me to partner up with him in this venture,” Chef Wilhelm noted. It is safe to say that the two made a few experienced changes to revamp this location. “For every concept I’ve been a part of, I’ve had a similar goal for each, and that is to create a unique dining experience through a combination of great food and beverage, paired with a warm, inviting ambiance and friendly but professional service,” explained Chef Wilhelm.

The key to new restaurants is to make them stand out and be inviting. Chef Wilhelm, knowing this, uses it to his advantage: “Within the development stages of each concept, I try to create something that I think is missing in the area. To a certain degree, 3-Thirty-3 was a place for locals but always had more of a focus on the bar rather than the food. Tavern House is focused on great food first and foremost, but also supports a lively bar scene,” said Chef Wilhelm. “There are a handful of great restaurants in the area, but I hope Tavern House serves as a casual ‘go-to’ place for both locals and visitors alike.”

Creating the right vibe and atmosphere is also key, as it is not just the food alone that keeps customers coming back. With the help of Designer Lana Helda, Chef Whilhem achieves just that. “I love that the bar is centrally located since this adds some energy to the surrounding dining room tables,” Chef Wilhelm described. “The redesign created an ambiance that is both comfortable and chic, accompanied by the stunning waterfront views of the bay, which is why this location is so iconic. Our goal is for Tavern House to become Newport Beach’s go-to gathering place for drinking, dining, socializing and life celebrations.”

Now, the menu of Tavern House will not be overshadowed by the cool vibe as Chef Wilhelm earlier stressed the importance of the food. “The menu offers some newly created originals as well as some of my most popular items that appeared on menus going back 30 years such as the Fried Chicken from Sorrento Grille, French Onion Soup from French 75 and Slow Braised Short Ribs from Savannah Chophouse,” Chef Wilhelm said. 

Drooling yet? Just wait, there’s more. “The menu also has a heavy seafood component featuring dishes such as BBQ Chipotle Bourbon Oysters, Pan Roasted Shrimp Cakes with warm Corn Relish, Snapper Veracruzana, Cioppino and a nightly selection of simply grilled, fresh local seafood,” shared Chef Wilhelm. “I also will be featuring weekly specials that include a handful of fan-favorite dishes from my past. I’m a strong believer in providing the highest quality ingredients featuring sustainable and properly harvested seafood, humanely-raised poultry and livestock, and produce from small, local farmers in all dishes.”

Tavern House is serving dinner nightly and has our favorite activity on the weekends—brunch! “We are also featuring a weekday happy hour serving up icy margaritas, craft beer and wines by the glass alongside savory and spicy bites,” said Chef Wilhelm. The plan is to also add in weekday lunches and dockside dining available in the coming months. Tavern House is open in Newport Beach and we are here for it!

Tavern House
333 Bayside Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949.673.8464 Tavern House Newport Beach