Babette’s, an independent, seasonally driven bistro from East Hampton, N.Y., is replacing Pacific Whey later this year.
Pacific Whey, which used to be one of the hottest fast-casual restaurant chains in Orange County, has closed another location.
The restaurant at Crystal Cove Shopping Center shut down over the weekend, Irvine Co. spokesman Michael Lyster said Thursday.
“Their lease ended,” he said.
The 2,800-square-foot restaurant had been at the Newport Coast center since 2003. Three years ago, a Ladera Ranch location closed. The last two remaining Pacific Whey restaurants are at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and Newport Hills Center in Newport Beach.
Babette’s, an independent, seasonally driven bistro from East Hampton, N.Y., is replacing Pacific Whey. It will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Lyster said.
“We’re looking to freshen up the dining mix at the center,” he said. “We see Babette’s resonating with the community there.”
Babette’s is expected to open later this year around the holidays. Its menu features “organic, local and seasonal” ingredients that support local farmers and growers, according to its website.
Over the past few years, the Irvine Co. has ushered in fresh concepts to the Newport Coast center including Tamarind of London and Bear Flag Fish Co.
The Newport Beach-based developer continues to tweak its food and retail mix at its top tier retail centers in Orange County, including Fashion Island, Irvine Spectrum Center and The Market Place. Earlier this week, San Francisco-based Lark Creek Restaurant Group opened its first Southern California restaurant, Lark Creek Newport Beach, at Fashion Island. It is part of the first wave of boutique chef-driven concepts opening at the mall this year. Others arriving later this year include Fig & Olive and Red O.