The Ritz Restaurant, famed for its lunchtime drinking, red-lipped waitresses and decadent meals, may soon have a new harbor-side home.
Newport Beach city staff are considering an application from the restaurant to renovate aspects of a Mariner's Mile building, city records show.
The location, 2801 W. Coast Highway, used to be occupied by the upscale seafood restaurant Chart House, which closed last year.
The Ritz Restaurant shuttered its longtime Newport Center location in February, after the Irvine Co. declined to renew the lease, planning instead to convert the den-like space into an open office area.
Patrons were told at the time that the restaurant would be reopening, but a new location had yet to be found.
Now, the restaurant is seeking to eliminate private office space on the third floor of the Coast Highway location in order for more restaurant kitchen space to be added, the property manager said. A current detached patio would also be eliminated, and an attached patio would be reconstructed instead.
An application filed by the restaurant for a license to sell alcohol is also pending with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, according to online records.
Tammy Billings, a spokeswoman for Grill Concepts, which includes the Ritz Restaurant, declined to provide details but confirmed the restaurant should re-open on Coast Highway sometime next year.
The Ritz Restaurant would be renting, not buying the space, said Elio Amato, property manager for G.P.'s Landing, which includes Billy's, a marina and the old Chart House building.
"At this point, we would have no reason to think that it's not going to go forward," Amato said.
For the record, 11 a.m. Aug.22: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said a space on the third floor will be converted into an outdoor patio. In fact, under the proposal, private office space on the third floor would be eliminated in order for more restaurant kitchen space to be added, the property manager said. A current detached patio would also be eliminated, and an attached patio would be reconstructed instead.