EMMES Realty Services of California LLC Welcomes SOL Mexican Cocina to Centerview

Re-Imagined Office Project Attracts Best-In-Class Restaurants in Post-Pandemic Era

SOL Mexican Cocina is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation to replace El Torito Grill in Irvine and will open Fall 2021 at Centerview. (Photo: Business Wire)

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While many restaurants across the nation have entered into a new era of disruption due to the pandemic, others have opened with much fanfare over the past year, some of them in the most unassuming places – office campuses.

“SOL adds to the robust amenities at Centerview and is complementary to Porch & Swing and Eighteen Main – a recently developed restaurant pad consisting of 17,000 square feet and providing the opportunity for two-to-four additional restaurants at the property.”

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One such place is Centerview, a LEED Platinum property with twin 12-story office buildings in Irvine, which continues to attract best-in-class and award-winning eateries. In April 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Porch & Swing opened at Centerview, earning major accolades and a loyal following. The latest restaurant to sign a lease at Centerview is SOL Mexican Cocina (“SOL”), which will move into the former El Torito Grill located at 1910 Main Street. SOL, owned by Xperience Restaurant Group, is an upscale Mexican restaurant known for its one-of-a-kind coastal Mexican menu made lovingly from scratch with fresh, healthy and authentic ingredients. The restaurant is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation and will occupy 11,277 square feet including a 2,861 square foot patio. SOL is expected to open in fall 2021.

“We’re thrilled to welcome SOL to Centerview,” said Justin Nguyen, vice president, asset management at EMMES. “SOL adds to the robust amenities at Centerview and is complementary to Porch & Swing and Eighteen Main – a recently developed restaurant pad consisting of 17,000 square feet and providing the opportunity for two-to-four additional restaurants at the property.”

SOL Mexican Cocina, which opened its first location in Newport Beach in 2009, already has a hugely loyal customer base in Orange County. Centerview will be the eatery’s fifth location and the largest restaurant to date for the brand. SOL at Centerview will include a sprawling patio that will seat up to 100 guests, spacious cantina with a stage for live entertainment, an intimate dining room, and three banquet rooms for special events. SOL is focused on sharing the unique character and spirit of Baja by creating lively settings with modern Mexican design, featuring original local art, breezy open bars, fire pits, and friendly service.

Following the approval of the Irvine Business Complex Vision Plan, thousands of new residential units have been approved and are under construction in the area, creating a unique opportunity for new restaurants to fulfill a growing demand for food options in the Airport Area.

“Expanding into a neighboring city like Irvine, in the midst of a vibrant commercial and residential setting, makes a lot of sense to meet the demand for our menu, and introduce our brand to the community,” said Randy Sharpe, CEO, Xperience Restaurant Group. “This new SOL location at Centerview will absolutely fill a need in the Irvine restaurant landscape for a modern, polished Mexican restaurant. The authenticity of the menu, fresh ingredients, and approachable yet sophisticated ambiance will make this restaurant a fantastic destination for date night, happy hour with coworkers, Sunday brunchers, or a special occasion.”

The addition of SOL Mexican Cocina to Centerview comes on the heels of a multimillion-dollar renovation of the Centerview plaza, which includes a mix of soft seating, accent furniture and a variety of shade control, including retractable umbrellas and fixed shade elements. The new outdoor amenity provides flexible open spaces for both office tenants and restaurants with fresh air, sunshine and shade. In addition to the common daytime use, the Centerview plaza is also enhanced with dramatic nighttime accent lighting for extended use and function.

“SOL Mexican Cocina is a continuation of repositioning Centerview as a premier destination,” said Jay D. Carnahan, managing partner, ORION Property Partners, Inc., office leasing representative for EMMES. “Whether you’re eating at SOL or Porch & Swing or having a meeting in the plaza, EMMES has created a workplace environment that is enjoyable and comfortable for the ‘new lifestyle’ of engagement, health and amenities. EMMES is a leader in the marketplace. They get credit for creating an inviting workspace environment that the business community wants, and the new residents of the Irvine Business Complex want, all during a really difficult time.”

Carnahan, who has been a commercial office broker for three decades, believes EMMES will continue to attract best-in-class tenants as well as restaurants to Centerview, further elevating it as a regional hot spot.

“What’s happening in the office market – given the change of people wanting more outside spaces and venues – is there have been a limited number of projects that have done extensive amounts of reinventing and repositioning to create an environment that extends past the hours of eight to five, and beyond the walls of the office. Centerview is at the forefront of that. It is one of the best projects with a real ‘sense of place’ in the marketplace, and it has the best amenity package in the Airport Area market.”


EMMES Realty Services of California LLC is a member of The EMMES Group of Companies. Founded in 1992, with offices in New York and California, The EMMES Group of Companies and its affiliates are engaged in principal real estate investments, funds management and real estate services. For more information, visit www.emmesco.com.

About SOL Mexican Cocina

SOL Mexican Cocina is a polished, contemporary casual dining brand specializing in Baja Mexican cuisine with four locations in California, Arizona, and Colorado. With an eclectic menu of dishes inspired by fresh, simple coastal Baja cooking, SOL creates authentic Mexican food from scratch and ensures each dish is made fresh every day, including dozens of our housemade salsas. SOL’s beverage program features award-winning housemade margaritas along with over 100 of Mexico’s finest small batch mezcal and tequilas. Experience the taste of Baja. For more information, visit solcocina.com.

About Xperience Restaurant Group

Xperience Restaurant Group (XRG) is the owner and operator of the nation’s most iconic Mexican restaurant brands, including: El Torito, Chevys Fresh Mex, SOL Mexican Cocina, Acapulco, and Las Brisas. For over 65 years, XRG’s concepts have been at the forefront of innovation in Mexican cuisine. XRG currently owns and operates 61 restaurants throughout the US, with a mission to provide every guest that walks through the door an “Xperience” second to none. For more information, visit xperiencerg.com.


Christine Takara
EMMES Realty Services of California LLC