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RESTAURANT ROUNDUP:Restaurants join against hunger

July 12, 2007

Four Newport-Mesa restaurants are among 19 in Orange County preparing for a two-week campaign in August to fight hunger among children.

For the last five years, S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water has put on the Dine Out Program to raise funds for Share Our Strength, a nationwide charity that works with local food banks and community groups to provide food for children in need. Soprano's in Costa Mesa and Sage, Port and Sage on the Coast in Newport Beach are in the program this year.

From Aug. 19 to 23 and Aug. 26 to 30, restaurants in the Dine Out Program will offer a three-course menu — $25 for lunch, $35 for dinner — with a complimentary bottle of S.Pellegrino. The bottled water distributor will donate $1 to Share Our Strength for every meal served.

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Joe Morano, the manager of Soprano's, entered the program for the first time this year. He said he had done volunteer work for Share Our Strength in the past and was keen on getting his restaurant involved.

"Any kind of promotion you can do any time is good, especially to help a charity like that," Morano said.

Yard House coming to Fashion Island

The Yard House, a popular Long Beach-based restaurant and bar, is expected to open its fourth Orange County location at Fashion Island in September.

The new location will occupy a 9,000-square-foot space by Bloomingdale's, which formerly housed the Japanese restaurant Ozumo, and features a large outdoor patio area. The Yard House, which also has a location at Triangle Square in Costa Mesa, is renowned for an extensive menu and a large selection of draft beer.

The restaurant, which launched in Long Beach in 1996, has expanded to 15 sites in six states.

"We're extremely excited to be opening at Fashion Island," Steele Platt, founder and chief executive of the chain, wrote in a news release. "Fashion Island is more than just a place to shop, it's an Orange County destination. We feel our concept will be a nice complement to the current tenant mix."

— Compiled by Michael Miller

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