Russ Bendel

Russ Bendel

Russ Bendel is expected to take on ownership of the Sapphire Laguna Restaurant and Pantry early next month.

The restaurant is expected to be renamed Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook. and will also come with what the company said are “minor enhancements.”

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That’s according to a statement released by Sapphire Culinary Group Executive Chef and Chief Executive Azmin Ghahreman released late Thursday. The ownership change comes as the restaurant celebrates its 13-year anniversary.

Bendel, the son of The Habit Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT) CEO Russ Bendel, also owns Vine Restaurant in San Clemente, Laguna Hill-based Ironwood and Olea in Newport Beach.

Said Ghahreman: “Russ is a respected restaurant industry veteran, and someone I know will build on the tradition of Sapphire Laguna Restaurant and Pantry.”