The Ruby Restaurant Group, the Irvine, Calif.-based operator of the iconic 1940s-themed family restaurants, has completed a dramatic remodeling of its diner on 17thStreet in Costa Mesa into a Ruby’s Dinette a new concept featuring a 1960s vibe, an innovative new menu, craft beers on tap, a premium ice cream scoop counter and fast-casual service. It opened August 22 and is currently serving lunch and dinner; breakfast service will be addedSeptember 4.
The new Ruby’s Dinette is the prototype for the chain’s planned expansion through franchising into the booming fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry. Guests at the new Ruby’s Dinette order at a counter and can enjoy their hand-delivered food inside, on the patio or for take-away.Although Ruby’s classics are available, the menu is revamped into sections such as “Bennys & the Eggs,” “Chopped Salads,” “MMM…Melts,” and “Gourmet Burgers.”
The midcentury modern look of the new Ruby’s Dinette reflects the era in which Cavanaugh spent his formative years growing up in Southern California. Instead of 1940s red vinyl booths and white Formica tables of the “classic” Ruby’s Diner, new decor touches and build-ins that transport guests to the ’60s include Terrazzo counter tops, mosaic tile, pendant lights, and TVs with retro content. Other decor touches include lava lamps, a Sputnik clock, amoeba-shaped cutouts, circle patterns and flourishes from the Googie-style architecture of Los Angeles coffee shops in the 1960s. Art-Andy Warhol-inspired portraits andvintage posters–features icons of the 60s, from the Beatles to Jacqueline Kennedy. The new-look Ruby’s Dinette, designed by Richard McCormack Design in Costa Mesa, totals 3,875 square feet and seats 122 guests inside plus an additional 24 on the patio.
The completely updated menu at Ruby’s Dinette features a broad range of new offerings in addition to the classic Ruby’s lineup of burgers, sandwiches and salads. An extensive breakfast menu has been developed which includes “Breakfast Burritos” like the “Belly Bomb,” “Breakfast Sammies,” “Bennys & the Eggs,” featuring four versions of Eggs Benedict, and “Sweet Thangs” like Malted Hot Cakes and French Toast Sticks. For lunch or dinner, guests may enjoy new gourmet burgers including “Zorba the Burger,” a lamb patty topped with kalamata olives and feta cheese; “Gettin’ Figgy With It,” a beef patty with aged Cheddar cheese, roasted garlic and fig jam; and the “Ahi Burger” seared rare with Asian slaw andhousemade Sriracha mayo. All burgers are also available with a “Go Green” option on a bed of mixed greens at no additional cost. An early favorite of the four sandwiches featured in “MMM’¦Melts” is made with Portobello mushrooms, sweet Peppadew peppers and Fontina cheese on grilled Parmesan sourdough. Ruby’s Dinette offers wine and a generous selection of craft beers on tap, as well as a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine that offers 100+flavors.
In addition to its classic handmade shakes and malts, Ruby’s Dinette also will sell Marianne’s Ice Cream, a rich premium ice cream from a destination shop in Santa Cruz that was founded in 1947. Ruby’s recently began featuring Marianne’s ice cream at its locations in Laguna Beach and at the Huntington Beach Pier. Guests can order Marianne’s ice cream, sundaes and novelty items such as ice cream sandwiches and frozen bananas from a separate counter near the entrance for takeout or to enjoy at a table.
Address: 428 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Phone: 949-646-RUBY (7829)
Hours: Open daily.Breakfast served from7:00-11:30 AM; lunch and dinner served until 10 PM