Orange County Business Journal

Will Chanteclair Spot Put on The Ritz? Doti Does It All Over

Jerry Sullivan Sunday, August 11, 2013

Word around town has Ray Jacobi now entertaining thoughts of moving The Ritz from Newport Center to the old Chanteclair spot across from JWA on MacArthur Boulevard. Talks are preliminary, according to sources in the know, and Jacobi didn’t return calls last week. The Ritz is due to vacate its current location at 880 Newport Center Drive in February—a cutoff that’s been extended a couple of times already by landlord Irvine Company …

Irvine Co. is making more room in Newport Center for a restaurant brand that’s made fast strides as a newcomer to OC. It is Cucina Enoteca, part of Tracy Borkum’s San Diego-based Urban Kitchen Group, and it’s expected to open across from Nordstrom at Fashion Island sometime next year. The first OC location of Cucina Enoteca arrived in late 2011 at Irvine Spectrum, where it’s won a local following …

Cucina Enoteca will make it a trio of new options to put a cosmopolitan exclamation point on Fashion Island’s ongoing makeover, now estimated at more than $100 million. The other two new restaurants due to open next year—Mediterranean-style Fig & Olive and high-Mexican specialist Red O—offer culinary benchmarks for the center’s upscale move. Cucina Enoteca will take the old El Torito spot, and Fig & Olive will go where Coco’s used to be, with Red O getting a newly built place …

Jim Doti never really gets away from his duties as president, chief fundraiser and ambassador-at-large for Chapman University. That was clear during Doti’s recent run in the RAGBRAI 500, a bicycle trek that covers Iowa from the Mississippi River to the Missouri. Doti walked out of a locker-room shower after one leg of the seven-day ride and spotted Greg Edwards, CFO of Rancho Mission Viejo and a member of the Anderson Center for Economic Research Advisory Board at Chapman. Edwards stood out with a “Chapman 12-USC 6” T-shirt that rubs in the OC school’s recent win in lacrosse over its L.A. rival. The T-shirts were gifts at the latest economic forecast of the Anderson Center …

Doti finished the bike trip in time to make some more connections, these ones planned. He’s now in Catania, Sicily, his mother’s hometown, where he plans to meet a first cousin for the first time. Then it will be a short hop to join George and Julia Argyros on their yacht “Huntress” off the coast of the Italian peninsula …

Doti should bring some champagne to celebrate the Hollywood Reporter’s annual Top 25 Film Schools in America, which has Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at No. 7. “Under the program, producer [Travis] Knox (The Bucket List) recently wrapped Trigger, a $1.25 million film with Scott Glenn (Training Day) and dozens of Chapman alums, including director Basel Owies,” the trade pub writes. “If it makes money, expect to hear lots more about the program’s slate of six movies, each budgeted at $1 million or less” … Scorecard update: PR exec Bob Magnuson from director to chair of the board for PBS SoCal.