Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Voting is officially open to determine Newport Beach’s Best Burger; and, guess who’s come out of retirement to start another clothing line?

For those of you who were around in the early 1970s, hamburgers and the competition for the best one began taking center stage. At 3 1/2 years of age, Rodney Allen Rippy first debuted as the official pitchman for Jack in the Box’s Jumbo Jack, saying in his own little cute way, “It’s too big a-eat!”

McDonald’s wasn’t too far behind when they released their little bragging effort by reminding us that the Big Mac was “two all-beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun.” (The faster the better!)

Wendy’s introduced us to Dave over the years, and Burger King tried to get us to somehow fall in love with a goofy king running around in tights with his stupid crown. Sorry, that one didn’t work for me!

Now, all of these were fast food burgers…something to eat in a pinch, while traveling along the highway in the car, or to simply feed the kids.

But, knowing that a good burger is always top-of-mind and something to actually enjoy, it got Gary Sherwin, the president & CEO of Visit Newport Beach, and me into a discussion about who has Newport Beach’s best burger (fast food outlets not included)?

We decided, why not ask you, the Stu News readers to nominate your favorites. And so you did.

The response was great and now, as step two in our not-so elaborate process, the voting begins. Below is every place that was nominated…go to bestofnb.com and cast your vote now through April 29 for Newport Beach’s Best Burger.

We’ll then take the top five vote getters and conduct a blind taste test with our well-regarded panel of judges, including Celebrity Chef Jamie Gwen, Newport Harbor Yacht Club Director Ray Jacobi, who previously ran the iconic Ritz Restaurant and the Four Seasons Hotel, and John Wortmann, chairman of the Balboa Bay Club and a frequent diner.

Then, and only then, will we be able to crown Newport Beach’s Best Burger.

Readers, you’re up!

Here’s the list of nominees for you to find at bestofnb.com: ARC Butcher & Baker in Newport, A Restaurant, Balboa Island Grill (BIG), Bayside Restaurant, Beachcomber, Billy’s at the Beach, Bungalow in CDM, Cassidy’s, Champagnes Kitchen, Fable and Spirit, Farmhouse, Fleming’s, Gulfstream, Irv’s, MALARKEY’S, Mario’s Butcher Shop, Mariposa at Neiman Marcus, Mayor’s Table, Olea, R+D Kitchen, Ruby’s, Tavern House Kitchen, The Chicken Coop (aka Zubie’s Chicken Coop), The Place, The Stand, TK Burger and Wilma’s on Balboa Island.

As the old saying goes, “vote early and vote often!”

• • •

Sometimes you meet people in life that you just, I think they call it, “vibe” with. Thom McElroy is one of those guys. I can’t explain it, I just feel it when we connect.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say we’re friends, but a little more than acquaintances.

Thom was one of the co-founders of Volcom, and that might in its own right say enough. Oh, he’s also a grad of San Diego State, my old alma mater.

Anyway, I was excited this past week when an announcement came across my desk announcing the launch of Flair Play, based out of Newport Beach, that has an impressive team of players behind it.

Of course there’s Thom, who has come out of retirement for this, and his wife Andrea McElroy. She’s “an avid participant in both tennis and golf,” and that’s important because as you’ll see it will factor in momentarily.

They’re joined by Kit Hoover, host of Access Hollywood and the Coop with Kit podcast, and – she’s also an avid pickleball player; there’s Casey Ladd, a pickleballer in her own right, who is also the wife of the president and general manager of Puma/Cobra Golf, and finally, Kristy Gladdings, a popular and avid Newport Beach tennis player.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of flairplayactive.com

The Flair Play Active team

As Thom explained to me, it’s “a women-run business, with four very smart and passionate ladies.” Which will tell you who sits in the background and offers his consult.

So, what is Flair Play? Well, glad you asked; it’s “a classy, flirty, cute and conservative women’s lifestyle clothing and accessories brand for pickleball, golf and tennis.”

It’s a combination of the sports you want to be playing today, in styles that you want to be seen in doing so. And don’t just take my word for it – check them out at https://flairplayactive.com/, or on Instagram and Facebook at Flairplayactive.

The brand is already taking off and can be found carried in the states, as well as in the Bahamas. BTW, Flair Play is offering wholesale and consumer direct online, too, as just an fyi.

• • •

The Newport Harbor Foundation (NHF) is gearing up and has announced the Inaugural State of the Bay Luncheon planned for Wednesday, May 15 at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. The VIP Sponsor Reception begins at 11:30 a.m., followed by the luncheon and program at 12 p.m.

On the agenda as guest speakers are Seymour Beek – discussing the Ferry electrification status; Paul Blank, our wonderful Harbormaster – offering a Harbor Department update; Bill Kenney, NHF Board Member – reviewing the mooring fields reconfiguration and rate updates, and Duffy Duffield, NHF Board Member – updating on the trash collector and dredging projects.

The NHF was created “for the purpose of preserving, protecting and enhancing Newport Harbor for the benefit of the City of Newport Beach, the homeowners on or near the bay, the commercial operators in the bay and the recreational users of the bay.”

And trust me, they have big plans to do so.

As a reminder, according to the NHF, “each year the harbor generates $391.9 million in economic output, supports 4,807 jobs and generates $167.5 million in labor income.”

In other words, this is important.

Consider attending this first true kickoff. Contact and RSVP to Julie Ackman at 714.335.7500, or at julie@julieackman.com.

(Link “bestofnb.com” through to the following URL:
www.bestofnb.com)

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