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Monday, Jun 5, 2023


The 2022 edition of the World Cup, which kicks off later this month, marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s run to the quarterfinals of the world’s most popular sporting event, its best result in modern times.

Eddie Lewis, a key part of that team, tells the Business Journal that at the time he didn’t expect the 2002 performance to stand as a high-water mark for the national team for too long. Alas, since then the best the men’s team has done at the quadrennial event is make the round of 16, twice. Four years ago, the team didn’t qualify for the tournament.

Lewis, who founded Costa Mesa’s soccer training business Toca Football after his pro career ended, is holding out hope that the quirkiness of this month’s tournament—it’s typically held in the summer but was moved due to the hot temperatures of host country Qatar—could turn out to help the U.S. team.

The USMNT’s head coach this year is Gregg Berhalter, a teammate of Lewis on the 2002 squad. The Toca exec says he keeps in touch with Berhalter, who “played like a coach on the field.” Lewis has high hopes, but like every national team fan, he has his own opinions on player selections and formations for the team.

Lewis expects either Brazil or Argentina to win this year.

For more on Toca Football’s expansion plans, see Kaitlin Aquino’s front-page feature. For more on Lewis’ World Cup experiences, keep an eye on our back-page Leader Board later this month.

The Orange County Museum of Art isn’t alone among local museums getting new facilities.

The Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University is prepping to move to a smaller, temporary location in downtown Orange—in the old U.S. Bank building at 216 E. Chapman—after closing its current facility for construction early next month.

Hilbert Temporary will be open to the public on Dec. 17. Its opening exhibition will be “All Aboard: The Romance of California’s Railroads,” featuring train and railroad-related paintings, several of which were highlighted in the Business Journal’s latest edition of the OC500, which was sent to subscribers a week ago.

The expanded Hilbert Museum, on Atchison Street, aims to open in early 2024, says Director Mary Platt. “We look forward to tripling our exhibition space and adding indoor and outdoor event space, a research library, a museum café and more,” she says.

It’s a good month for brunch lovers.

Near Tustin’s blimp hangars is the second location of Toast Kitchen & Bakery, run by Business Journal Restaurateurs of the Year Ed Lee and Chef John Park. It opens Nov. 15, at the Village at Tustin Legacy shopping center. Toast’s new spot was held up a few months due to permitting issues.

A stone’s throw from the Mission at San Juan Capistrano, Breezy restaurant and lounge, featuring Filipino-inspired food, recently held a soft opening.

The spot, on Camino Capistrano, was previously a ramen restaurant.

It took about 45 days to revamp it into Breezy, says partner Jasmin Gonzalez, who worked with local developer Frontier Real Estate Investments at its Rodeo39 food hall in Stanton and now has a new concept in the works in SJC.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.

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