Cathy Pavlos, chef-owner of Lucca in Irvine, announced plans to take over one of the most talked about empty restaurant spaces in Newport Beach. In late December, Rich Mead closed Sage to the dismay of locals who loved his farm-to-table cooking. But its replacement, Provenance, is offering a modern culinary spin to Mead's pioneering efforts. The seasonally driven restaurant will have a 1,300-square-foot organic garden. Pavlos has tasked culinary landscaper Kathryn Agresto with creating and maintaining the raised garden. Agresto manages on-site produce gardens at Park Ave in Stanton and The Montage resort in Laguna Beach. The Napa-influenced menu will include signature sandwiches at lunch and larger plates at dinner. Items will change regularly based on the garden offerings. Provenance also plans to feature humanely raised meats and wild seafood. Pavlos, who founded Lucca in 2005, said Provenance brings her back to her roots. Her grandfather was a commercial farmer in Huntington Beach "who knew the value of providing high-quality produce," the 30-year resident of Corona del Mar said. The restaurant is expected to open in the fall at the Eastbluff Village Center in Newport Beach (2531 Eastbluff Drive). Stay tuned to Nancy Luna's Fast Food Maven page for more information: Other restaurant openings El Cholo, owned by La Habra-based The Restaurant Business, opened a new restaurant last week in Anaheim Hills. El Cholo CEO Brendon Salisbury said the Anaheim Hills restaurant, which takes over an old Chevys, is the first El Cholo to debut in Orange County since the company opened its Irvine location in 1999. Salisbury's family started the Mexican restaurant chain 90 years ago. Back then, the Salisbury family called the flagship Los Angeles location Sonora Cafe. It was eventually changed to El Cholo. Photos of the Salisbury family adorn the Anaheim Hills location, which seats 425 people. Over the weekend, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin finalized its lease with Villa Nova's new owner. The Newport Beach location should open in the fall. Jersey Mike's Subs is opening two more restaurants in Orange County. One opens today in Buena Park at 5974 Orangethorpe Ave. On April 3, the East Coast sub chain will open at a former Quiznos shop at 17917 MacArthur Blvd. in Irvine. Olive Branch Pizza and Black Knight Gastro Lounge opened last month at the rebranded Triangle center in Costa Mesa. Erik Harriman of the shuttered Little Knight in Costa Mesa is behind the dual operation. Capriotti's opened its second Orange County sandwich shop March 12 at 4221 MacArthur Blvd, Suite B-2, Newport Beach Contact the writer: Got a tip on a restaurant opening or closure? Send to Nancy Luna at

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