Though Rancho Mission Viejo has seen a lot of home developments and new businesses open in the past few years, the unincorporated area isn’t particularly known as a place to eat out at a restaurant.
The owners behind Oak Ranch Grill are looking to change that.
Brian McTeigue and Jesse Clanton—who live in San Clemente and Laguna Niguel, respectively—are planning to have a soft opening for the new eatery in the Los Patrones Business Park on Los Patrones Parkway this week and a grand opening on May 29.
The restaurant serves what the two described as “elevated fast casual”—an approach that aims to quickly provide high-quality meals to customers and one which is becoming increasingly popular.
McTeigue has experience as a chef and said Oak Ranch Grill has been his brainchild for at least seven to eight years.
“I wanted to branch out on my own. I’ve been in the industry 20 years. We both have,” McTeigue said. “We wanted to take the fast casual concept and elevate it a little bit. We’re trying to take it to that next level of gourmet but without being a fine dining restaurant.”
The cuisine is classic American fare. Menu items include a Caesar salad, black bean and bacon soup, pulled pork sandwich, and the Oak Ranch burger.
McTeigue crafted the menu to appeal to Rancho Mission Viejo’s family population so that parents and kids can find something on the menu they like, and eat multiple times a week.
“A little barbecue option. An extensive kids’ menu so the kids are happy,” McTeigue said. You never find good soups anywhere around here, so I wanted to make sure we have a good selection of soups.”
Just about everything on the menu is made from scratch. As for the design, there are several dining tables with seats and a big screen television on the wall for customers to watch sports.
Opening the restaurant has been a “long time coming,” McTeigue said.
“It’s been almost a two-year process to get this place open,” he said. “We found this spot a little over two years ago and realized this community has a need for a restaurant up here. It’s all a brand-new area but all the homes are 99% occupied.”
Along with serving the community, the eatery will fulfill McTeigue’s sense of creative expression since cooking is his outlet.
Oak Ranch Grill plans to offer beer and wines eventually, and work with local vendors and providers when doing so. Pairing food and wine is Clanton’s specialty because, he said, the two can complement each other and turn a meal into an experience.
“After so many years in the industry, I wanted to go a little farther and do a little more,” Clanton said. “We’ve got a great opportunity here. We’ve got tons of houses itching for food.”
Starting Oak Ranch Grill from a blank canvas is “surreal,” McTeigue said.
“We did the design ourselves,” he said. “Every table, every floorboard, every piece of art on the wall is something we put together ourselves. To finally see it all come together and people coming in here and loving it and appreciating it is cloud nine.”
Clanton said seeing the restaurant come to fruition as envisioned is “pretty awesome.”
“We find ourselves at night, sometimes looking around at night, saying, ‘Wow, we did this,’” McTeigue said.
Rancho Mission Viejo’s Vice President of Marketing Stephanie Walker said Oak Ranch Grill is an “exciting new restaurant” that will offer a culinary experience “unique to the area for Rancho Mission Viejo residents and the surrounding Orange County community.”
“We think this will be the go-to local spot for friends and families to share a meal together close to where they live and work, all while enjoying an amazing selection of food and drinks,” Walker said.