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Pieology’s Latest: Vegan Offerings

RESTAURANTS: Meatless meatballs, self-serve wingsCreate-your-own pizza franchise Pieology Pizzeria is the latest notable area restaurant chain beefing up its menu with ingredients geared toward vegans, vegetarians and other foodies seeking more nutritional—and palatable—items.

El Pollo Loco Shares Plunge

Shares in Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. fell sharply following its quarterly report, declining more than 15% Friday and dipping below a $500 million market cap.

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Lazy Dog Enters Houston

Costa Mesa-based Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar plans to open a location near Houston later this year, a new market for the casual dining chain that has five locations open or in development in the suburbs of Dallas.

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February Auto Sales Up

OC’s automakers performed positively last month with nearly all reporting increases, except for Irvine-based Mazda North America Operations.

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Habit Shares Jump on Forecast

Habit Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT) in Irvine forecast 2019 revenue higher than analysts expected, sending shares more than 15% higher in recent trading.

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BJ’s Income Up; Shares Down on Earnings Miss

Shares in Huntington Beach-based BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) declined about 8% to a market cap of $1 billion in Friday trading as the casual dining chain missed quarterly earnings estimates by a penny a share.

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Taco Bell Sales Near $11B

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. fourth quarter systemwide sales rose 8% to $3.3 billion and full-year sales climbed 6% to $10.8 billion, its parent company, Yum Brands Inc. in Louisville, Ky., said.

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Chipotle Jumps on Comps Crush

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) shares leapt some 14% as the Newport Beach-based fast casual chain reported results that topped estimates for revenue, earnings and same-store sales.

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Stacked Taps Yard House Vet for First COO

Huntington Beach-based fast casual Stacked Restaurants LLC named Craig Carlyle, a former senior executive at Irvine-based Yard House USA Inc., its first chief operating officer.

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China Carmaker Setting Up in OC

AUTOMOTIVE: Joins Zotye, Karma

Add GAC Motor to the growing cadre of Chinese automakers establishing operational hubs in Orange County.

Taco Bell’s Williams to Stitch Fix Board

Stitch Fix Inc. named Liz Williams, president of Taco Bell International, to its board, noting her experience with branding and foreign markets.

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Del Taco Shares Up On 4Q Prelims

Shares in Lake Forest-based Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: TACO) rose 6.4% after reporting fourth quarter preliminary results and issuing a 2019 forecast.

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Mo, Better Booze

Mo Honarkar could soon supplant Dane Eiler “the Greeter” Larsen as Laguna Beach’s best-known local after buying a stretch of city properties along Coast Highway, including the iconic Hotel Laguna (the Insider’s favorite wedding spot), which Honarkar vows to restore “to its former glory.”

Mitsubishi Nabs CMO From Kia

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America has named Kimberley Gardiner as vice president and chief marketing officer.

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Hybrid Apparel Names CEO

Bill Hutchison has been named chief executive of Cypress-based Hybrid Apparel, effective Jan. 14.

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Auto Sales: Monthly Strength, Mixed Year

Three of five OC automakers posted strong a strong month to close a generally down 2018 for local manufacturers.

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