Paul Hughes

Web & Data Editor/Reporter

Email: hughes@ocbj.com
Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 236

Recent Stories

A Brewing Industry

OC’s Bar Scene Is Growing Up

A tech guy walks into a bar. He owns it. Not much of a joke, but Gary Jabara’s not kidding with Chihuahua Cerveza, a taco joint he opened in the former Crow Burger Kitchen spot on Balboa Peninsula.

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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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New Shows Tap Trends

Two new events at Anaheim Convention Center reflect efforts by area tourism marketers to play to the city’s strengths and bring larger or higher-dollar events to the venue.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.6% in midday trading to 2,589.65.

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Habit’s Bendel Cooks Up Burger Sales

Chain’s Popularity Grows As CEO Avoids Limelight

When business is about tortoises and hares, Habit Restaurants Inc. Chief Executive Russ Bendel is quite content to be the turtle.

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HFC Buys 4th Franchiser

Home Franchise Concepts in Irvine on Jan. 1 bought AdvantaClean in Huntersville, N.C., on undisclosed term, its fourth home-improvement franchise system. It already owned Budget Blinds, Tailored Living and Concrete Craft.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% in midday trading to 2,513.91.

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Bellwether Boosting Hospitality Work

REAL ESTATE: Grippo jumps on board

Bellwether Financial Group’s naming of Irvine Co. veteran Ralph Grippo as a principal provides a signal on the future direction of the company’s coastal projects, including a $338 million renovation of Dana Point Harbor.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Markets declined in midday trading the day after Wednesday’s surge.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Markets surged after four trading days of declines.

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2019 Preview: RESTAURANTS

Fries with that slowdown?

Air Traffic Down in November

John Wayne Airport passenger traffic declined about 5% year-over-year in November to 850,000. Year-to-date passenger totals are up about 3.3% to 9.8 million.

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Long Beach Airport Traffic Declines

Passenger traffic at Long Beach Airport declined 18% in October and 9% in November compared with the same months last year, to 270,000 and 293,000, respectively.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.9% in midday trading.

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Chipotle Adds Legal, Development Execs

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) in Newport Beach named Roger Theodoredis chief legal officer and Tabassum Zalotrawala chief development officer.

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Buena Park Food Maker Sold

Buena Park-based Simply Fresh Foods was sold to Lakeview Farms LLC in Delphos, Ohio.

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Taco Bell Gets 2nd Down Under Franchiser

Taco Bell Corp. of Irvine signed its second franchiser for Australia and New Zealand, more than doubling the number of units it plans in the two countries to 110.

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Grippo’s New Berth: Bellwether, Dana Point

Bellwether Financial Group in Newport Beach named Ralph Grippo a principal, the company said.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes were higher in midday trading on an easing of trade tensions.

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Hotels Continue Strong

Local hotels, countering some expectations that the hospitality market was cooling, kept up a year of strong performance in October in the county overall and seven OC submarkets.

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Disneyland SVP to Hong Kong

Disneyland Resort Senior Vice President of Operations Stephanie Young will replace Hong Kong Disneyland Managing Director Samuel Lau Wing-kee, reporting to Michael Colglazier, president and managing director of Walt Disney Co.’s parks and resorts in Asia.

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Door-to-Door Booze Co. Starts

INNOVATION: Duo has subscription and store

Santa Ana-based Shots Box LLC is like a chocolate-of-the month club—for booze.

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Long Beach Airport's Romo Retires

Long Beach Airport Director Jess Romo will retire effective Jan. 31.

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20 Habits to Greater Chicago

Habit Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT) said a new franchisee to its system, Bloomfield, Mich.-based Tremendous Brands Group LLC, will open 20 locations in Illinois and Indiana, with the first to come by mid-2019.

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JWA October Air Traffic Down

John Wayne Airport had 907,000 passengers in October, down 2.5% year-over-year; commercial flights declined 1.4% to about 4,000.

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Big Show Bonanaza

Anaheim’s Biggest Shows to See 31% Rise in Attendance

2019 promises to be a blockbuster year for Anaheim’s tourism industry. And while next summer’s opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is far, far away the biggest reason, it’s not the only one.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes spiked higher in midday trading on comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that interest rates are near-neutral, neither spurring nor hindering economic growth.

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Fresh Marketing for El Pollo Loco

Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) named Hector Muñoz chief marketing officer ahead of an expected spring 2019 relaunch of the brand.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down about 0.2% in midday trading to 2,668.37.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes recovered in midday trading after two days of declines.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes continued declines that began yesterday as a technology sector sell-off continued.

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JWA Traffic Ticks Up; JetSuiteX Takes Off

September passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport was up 0.4% year-over-year to 857,000 while commercial flights were down 0.7% to about 3,800 for the month.

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Buena Park Group in Hotel Deal

Harbor Hotels LLC, an Arizona family investment group affiliated with Cornerstone Hotel Group LLC in Buena Park, bought the Courtyard by Marriott near Long Beach Exchange, a shopping and entertainment development, from Delaware-registered Mach II Chartres Long Beach.

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Next Pendry: Utah, Near Montage

Pendry Hotels plans to build a ski resort in the Canyons Village area of Park City, Utah, about five miles from Montage Deer Valley, a resort run by Pendry sister company Montage Hotels & Resorts.

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Former Real Mex Seeks to Reclaim Glory

RESTAURANTS: New name, execs; no debt

The former Real Mex Restaurants Inc. has a new name, chief executive and owner. It also has fewer locations and no significant debt.

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Disney Resorts Q4 Revenue Up 9%

Walt Disney Co.’s parks and resorts division, which includes Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort, said fourth quarter profit climbed 11% to $829 million as revenue rose 9% to $5.1 billion from the same period a year earlier.

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OCC: Interim In As Harkins Retires

Orange Coast College named Kevin Ballinger interim president while it searches for a permanent replacement for retiring President Dennis Harkins.

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OC Hotel Occupancy Dips in September

Several Orange County hotel submarkets in September showed lower average daily rates and revenue per available room year-over-year, and five of seven showed lower occupancy, which also fell countywide to 77% from 80% for the same month last year.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% in midday trading to 2,751.88.

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AVD Sales, Income Up

Newport Beach-based American Vanguard Corp. (NYSE: AVD) reported third quarter sales climbed 24% to $111.8 million while net income jumped 60% to $6.5 million.

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Samueli: How He Did It, and Just Might Again

Broadcom cofounder Henry Samueli kicked off OCTANe’s 2018 med-tech forum with tales from the early days of the chipmaker you’d likely never heard—and hints on what industry today he believes may be ripe for disruption.

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Habit Names Marriott Creative Exec to Board

Habit Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT) in Irvine added Karin Timpone to its board of directors, which now has eight members.

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El Pollo Loco 3Q Sales, Profit Rise

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) in Costa Mesa reported third quarter net income of $6.8 million on revenue of $106.7 million, compared with a loss of $4 million on revenue of $101.2 million in the same period a year ago.

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Taco Bell Strong; Yum Mixed

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. sales rose 8% to $2.6 billion in its most recent quarter, making it the top-performing chain in Louisville-based parent company Yum Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: YUM) portfolio for the period.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes were up following Facebook’s earnings report and a general lift in technology stocks.

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Long Beach Air Traffic Down 5%

Long Beach Airport passenger declined 5% year-over-year in September—the first monthly decline this year.

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Duck, Duck Donuts

Two down, three to go: Duck Donuts plans five locations in Orange County; two are open, in Huntington Beach and Irvine, the latter at Trade Food Hall.

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Habit Revenue, Swings to Loss on Charge

Habit Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT) in Irvine reported a $600,000 net loss, including a one-time charge, on revenue of about $105 million in its most recent quarter, compared with $400,000 in net income on revenue of $85 million, year-over-year.

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BJ’s Revenue, Income Up

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) in Huntington Beach earned nearly $9 million in net income on $270 million in revenue in its most recent quarter, up 257% and 10% respectively.

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