The latest retail and foodservice news for the week ending December 10, 2017.
Paula Deen Loves OC BBQ Sauce
Steve Botkin, the creator of the locally made Desperado barbecue, recently appeared on a cooking show hosted by former Food Network star Paula Deen.
Botkin, a pitmaster who developed his own barbecue sauce, shows how to smoke beef brisket at home “without making the house smoke-up,” he said.
The Positively Paula episode, dubbed “BBQ Inside?” aired earlier this month. Botkin said he was flown in to film Deen’s kitchen in Savannah, Georgia.
Botkin began bottling Desperado BBQ in 2013. It’s made in Anaheim and sold at 37 Whole Foods Market stores, including Brea, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and Tustin.
Deen launched the base cable show last year, marking the great return of the southern chef. Her career took a hit four years ago when she was sued for racial discrimination by a former employee. During a deposition, Deen admitted to making racial slurs in his past. The case was later dropped, but the damage to his career was done.
Episodes of his show are available here: https://www.positivelypaula.tv/
Prego reopens in Tustin
Prego, a popular Italian restaurant serving the Irvine business community for over 30 years, has reopened in Tustin.
The restaurant closed earlier this year after negotiations with its owner, the Irvine Company, failed. At the time, Prego owner Ruth Bedi promised the restaurant would resurface in a new location.
Bedi, who bought the restaurant in 2009, landed a spot at the Tustin Legacy District. The new location, now called Prego Mediterranean, reopened on Thanksgiving Day in the closed Bluewater Grill space at 2409 Park Avenue in Tustin.
The menu features a mix of classics from longtime executive chef Ugo Allesina, plus a handful of new Mediterranean-focused seafood dishes.
It’s not the best time of year to open a frozen dessert shop, but that’s not stopping Snowopolis.
The store, which specializes in Hawaiian shaved ice, opened in mid-November at Anaheim GardenWalk in the Disney Resort. The 1,900 square foot space is on the mall’s main level near the Prairie Meat Market. The store has a nightclub-inspired interior that includes 3D art on the walls, modern furnishings, and colorful LED bulbs. The Snowopolis menu features 120 tropical flavors. The store also sells gourmet cookies, shakes, and ice cream-stuffed Krispy Kreme donuts.
“Snowopolis is perfect for Anaheim GardenWalk’s lineup of entertainment tenants,” general manager Jerry Alder said in a statement. “The innovative indulgence behind the Snowopolis philosophy creates something very cool that excites people.”
Snowopolis has other locations in Montebello and the Moreno Valley. Anaheim, 400 Disney Way #184, is its third store and the only one in Orange County. A fourth location is planned in Long Beach, according to the company’s website.
La Habra Aldi delayed
Aldi has delayed the December 14 opening of its store in La Habra.
The market is now expected to open “sometime in 2018”, according to Aldi representatives. The company, which opens stores in Southern California almost weekly, did not provide a reason for the delay. A store due to open in Oxnard has also been delayed.
Chula Vista, Escondido and Glendora stores are still scheduled to open on December 14.
Grocery in Lake Forest
The Grocery Outlet opened its last Orange County store on Thursday, December 7. It replaced an old Fresh & Easy location at 22475 El Toro Road in Lake Forest.
Grocery Outlet, headquartered in Emeryville, is often called the TJ Maxx of supermarkets. The company buys discontinued or overstock branded products and sells them at 40% to 70% off regular prices. The chain has locations in Irvine, Tustin, Orange, Costa Mesa, Westminster and La Habra.
Company officials say they are creating more than 30 new jobs for the Lake Forest community.
Offer of pies at Denny’s
Denny’s restaurants are giving away a free whole pie to customers who try their Denny’s on Demand app.
If you buy more than $20 worth of food through the online ordering app, the company will give app users a free pumpkin or pecan pie. Restaurants are offering this offer until Monday, December 25 while supplies last. Customers must use promo code FREEPIE when ordering.
Wasa Sushi at The Market Place in Irvine closed on October 31. The Irvine Co. did not provide a reason for the closure. However, a developer representative said Wasa will be replaced by Pandor Artisan Bakery next summer.
Famous Dave, at 3608 S. Bristol St. in Santa Ana, has closed. A message left on the restaurant’s voicemail directs customers to visit the chain’s next closest location at The Market Place.
A Burger King at 1188 E. Yorba Linda Blvd. in Placentia has closed. It’s unclear why it closed or what will replace it.