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31761 Camino Capistrano
Hennessey’s Tavern has opened its newest Southern California location in San Juan Capistrano, nestled downtown within walking distance of the Mission. Paul Hennessey, owner of the Irish-themed bar chain, said he’s excited to open his 10th location and diversify Camino Capistrano’s restaurant and bar scene.
“I think we’re going to help the other businesses and restaurants in town,” Hennessey said. “We’re going to give people another avenue to bounce around since we’re in walking distance of four or five other restaurants. We aren’t going to compete with the other restaurants; instead, I think we’ll be a complement to everybody else.”
The tavern features outside seating in front, a full bar, booths and tables inside, and a back patio also equipped with a full bar, fireplaces and seating. Hennessey hopes his newest location will become a hangout for locals and travelers in the same manner his other bars have.
“It’s going to be very casual,” he said. “You can come here with two people and by the end of the night end up at a table with seven or eight.”
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner—with favorites from their other locations such as Cap’n Crunch French Toast, Irish nachos and chicken wings—Hennessey’s will keep its kitchen open through midnight each night. A wide variety of beers and wines will complement menu items throughout the day. Hennessey said he feels these qualities make his location unique to the area.
“Most of the other restaurants around here stop serving at 10 or 11 at night, even earlier than that,” he said. “Where people would have to leave town [for late dining] now they can come to us.”
Hennessey’s is open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, serving breakfast until noon.—Evan Da Silva
Crivello’s Italian Bistro
31882 Del Obispo Street
It was only a couple of months ago that Sebastian Crivello opened the doors of Crivello’s Italian Bistro and began serving customers at his new San Juan Capistrano location, which has taken the place of Aldo’s Sidewalk Cafe.
Crivello, owner and head chef, hails from Italy and currently lives in Temecula. When he heard the San Juan location was available, he immediately jumped at the opportunity, seeing that it had great potential.
Crivello said his parents are the ones who got him involved in the restaurant industry, and after being introduced into the dining scene, he soon realized how much he loved it.
His first business, Crivello, was located in the Temecula area, and it’s the profits from that business venture that allowed him to open up in San Juan. As the sole owner of the restaurant, Crivello said he’s thoroughly invested in the management and success of his newest Italian eatery.
The prices of Crivello’s dinner dishes range from about $11 to $22, and some of his most popular plates include linguine and penne dishes, along with the classic chicken and veal favorites Italian cuisine is known for. The menu ranges from sandwiches and salads to antipasti and casseroles.
Crivello said his overall mission is to treat people well and provide great food, friendly service and a friendly atmosphere.
“The most rewarding part of running this business is meeting new people every day,” he said.
Crivello’s is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.—Alison Shea
27211 Ortega Highway
Ten months after opening their doors to San Juan Capistrano, Public74, sister venue to Temecula’s Public House, has found growing success, courtesy of its seasonal menu and fine-dining experience. Co-owners Gerry Kent and Chad Dickey celebrated their official ribbon cutting with the San Juan Chamber of Commerce on June 11. Both Kent and Dickey believe their restaurant fills a fine dining void in San Juan and the surrounding areas.
“I’ve found personally that customers who come to us haven’t really experienced fine dining that much,” said Kent, “especially if you aren’t willing to travel past San Juan, Mission Viejo or San Clemente. There’s this 25- to 30-minute zone of not much crafty food or drink.”
Looking to address this, Public74 features a rotating menu of fresh, locally-grown ingredients and items specifically designed to fit the current season, while encouraging patrons to explore new tastes and dishes. Summer menus feature light, spicy ingredients accompanied by olive oils and vinaigrettes, with winter lineups using bay leaves and sage for more of a home-cooking feel. Kent and Dickey want customers to be able to treat their palates to items they normally wouldn’t try, and offer the option of returning food free of charge if they aren’t completely satisfied.
“If you hand the customer a burger and they don’t like onions or chilies or whatever, we say, ‘Just try it. If you don’t like it, don’t pay for it,’” said Kent.
The Blued and Qued Burger has proven to be their bestseller regardless of season, featuring a grass-fed 10-ounce Kobe beef patty topped with melted bleu cheese, house barbecue sauce, caramelized onions and Anaheim peppers, served with fries on the side.
Alongside their meal, guests can enjoy live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays, and a new, soon-to-be-completed outdoor patio. Public74 is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.—Evan Da Silva