Michael Hepworth




Lighthouse Cafe
Lighthouse Cafe Marina Park Community Center




Sample the Winter Menu And Nightly Specials



By Kay Schroeder


Newport Beach(Perfect Meal Today)12/6/16/–Eager to attend the one-year anniversary celebration of the Lighthouse Bayview Café, located in the newly constructed Marina Park Community Center with Newport Beach’s first bay-front community park, Photographer Extraordinaire Tom Wright and I arrived early to check out the amenities. This 10.5 acre modern architecture, cutting-edge community and sailing center is comprised of amenities for land and sea use as shown below:

  • Community and sailing center
  • Visitor-serving marina with laundry, shower and restroom facilities
  • In-slip pump out stations
  • Facility reservations
  • Nautical-themed playground
  • Outdoor fitness circuit and basketball courts
  • On-site Lighthouse Bayview Café, catering, and picnic area
  • Wi-Fi
  • Classes and programs are offered through the Recreation and Senior Services Department’s Marina Park Web page:
  • Nearby is the newly constructed Newport Beach Girl Scouts House at 1700 W. Balboa Boulevard, Newport Beach, CA 92663


Lighthouse Bayview Café Founder Doug Cavanaugh

On November 29th at 6:00 p.m., Lighthouse Bayview Café Founder Doug Cavanaugh welcomed media and guests into this beautifully designed and decorated waterfront café. Doug also founded the iconic and much loved, Ruby’s Diner, thirty-three years ago (located on the Balboa Pier). While the chain of Ruby’s Diners reflects the nostalgic 1940’s era, Lighthouse Bayview Café is a delightful mix of modern and lighthouse motifs. Doug said “Anytime I see a location with a unique setting, I jump on it. It’s long lasting.”

Docks are conveniently located next to the restaurant so that visitors who are arriving by boat can easily dine in the restaurant, or order-ahead hors d’ouevres and other foods for take out. How fittingly Newport Beach is that?

While you are at the Café, be sure to take a few moments to notice the beautifully designed lighthouse tower with its many colored lights. The tower may be viewed from the downstairs, heated patio or the upstairs, heated patio. Both patios face the waterfront and provide a gorgeous backdrop for photo taking. Although it is not a functioning lighthouse, it does have a tsunami warning system equipped with a network of sensors to detect tsunamis and a communications infrastructure to issue timely alarms to permit evacuation of the coastal areas.

Lighthouse Staff Rachel

This café is as much fun to visit as the food is sensational. As soon as guests entered the café, the wait staff moved with the synchronicity of a well-choreographed play as they offered the first drink of the evening, the ever so smooth and peachy Bikinitini. This refreshing drink consisted of Soju (Korean distilled rick liquor) and a special blend of peach, orange juice and Champagne. Accompanying the Bikinitini was a sumptuous, sautéed scallop on the half shell.

Sautéed scallop on the half shell

Great attention to design detail was evidenced (inside the café’ on the right-hand wall) by the two portholes through which diners were able to watch the ocean waves peacefully ripple by (via video). In the center of the room hung a huge chandelier that generated a lot of conversation by those who appeared to be captivated by it, as it turned slowly overhead. The light fixture is patterned after the Catoptric system of lighthouse illumination wherein a glass reflector was placed in front of a light source, making the magnified light easier for sailors at sea to see the light from greater distances.

Buddy’s Bloody 32oz Meal in a Jar

The second featured drink, a very generous 32 ounce Buddy’s Bloody, was equally impressive with its multi-layered kabob of salami, blue cheese, house-pickled tiny onion, and olive skewered on a bamboo pick. A generous sized stalk of asparagus and celery completed the adornments. Adding the Lighthouse’s own handcrafted Soju Bloody Mary mix culminated in the consummate cocktail. This drink was inspired by a legendary Newport Beach Lifeguard whose career spanned an incredible 47 years.

Lighthouse Crispy White Fish Tacos

For the third course appetizer, what could pair better with Lighthouse Crispy Fish Tacos than beer? The beer of choice this evening was Ballast Point Longfin Lager that served as a delicious counterpoint to the delicately prepared white fish tacos.

Banana/Pecan Bread Pudding with Heavy Cream

As the evening went on, the hits just kept coming as courteous and attentive wait staff like Matt, Rachael, and Romero presented the sweet de piece de resistance, Banana/Pecan Bread Pudding served in eco-friendly, renewable resource, bamboo dishes with bamboo forks.

Executive Chef Ryan Sumner

An added treat was the introduction of, and Q&A with, the young Executive Chef Ryan Sumner whose passion for designing the most innovative and delicious food was obvious after only a few minutes of meeting him. Chef Ryan said that he grew up around food while working in his parents’ Irvine Ranch Market. There he became aware of the seasonal changes of fresh ingredients. He also commented “My inspiration for the winter menus came from that early education and the beach and boating culture here in Newport. And, the nightly specials are for the locals.”

Before coming to the Lighthouse, the very engaging Chef Ryan worked for almost five years at Cavanaugh’s Beachcomber Café in Newport Coast where he said that the light, healthy and locally fresh menu grew more upscale as the day progressed.

Classic French Beignets Drizzled with Holiday Ices.

As if the food and drinks were not already spectacular enough, Executive Chef Ryan concluded with one last decadent hurrah, the classic French Beignets. These light, fluffy bite-sized comestibles were a fitting grand finale for our evening of fine food, drink, great service, and social interaction.


In celebration of the Newport Beach Christmas Lights Boat Parade (December 14 through December 18, Lighthouse Bayview Café is offering a three course dinner for $35 per person. The Café’s large, floor to ceiling glass windows allow diners a spectacular vantage point from which to watch the festive boat parade as it passes directly outside the Café. Make reservations at 949-933-1001 now so that you won’t miss out on this long time favorite Newport Beach tradition.

Best wishes to the Lighthouse Bayview Café founder Doug Cavanaugh, Executive Chef Ryan Sumner and their amazing staff.



The Lighthouse Café offers:

Happy Hour: Weekdays: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

$5.00 Drinks, Appetizers: $4.95 – $8.95

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, and Happy Hour. Check out the varied menus on


Sunday – Thursday: 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Friday – Saturday: 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Catering at 949-299-1121

1600 West Balboa Boulevard

Newport Beach, CA 92663


Visit at:



Newport Beach Christmas Lights Boat Parade (December 14 through December 18,

Photography Food: Tom Wright


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211


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