The Beach Club at The Victorian opens in Santa Monica
By Kamala Kirk
Recently, The Beach Club at The Victorian opened its doors in Santa Monica. The Beach Club is housed in the historic “Victorian”, an iconic and locally loved building on Main Street.
The space underwent a top-down design renovation to create a contemporary California aesthetic anchored by air spaces, lush foliage and sophisticated textural touches throughout the varied indoor and outdoor settings. The outdoor patio, indoor dining rooms and intimate upstairs lounge offer guests an array of different dining and imbibing atmospheres.
“The Victorian was exactly what you imagine – an old Victorian house,” said Paulo Daguiar, one of The Beach Club’s owners.
“We wanted to make it more inviting by opening up the inter spaces. Our designer incorporated neutral hues with sage accents, lighter woods and more greenery to soften the overall look. We’re so pleased with how it turned out and the feedback has been so positive. Everyone loves the beach club vibe.”
On the ground floor and outdoor patio, The Beach Club operates as a full-service restaurant and features a dedicated oyster bar while The Victorian Beach Lounge, located upstairs, is an elegant nod to European ultra lounges and offers elevated bottle service.
“We’ve always wanted to open a restaurant,” Daguiar said. “When we first launched the whiskey bar and live music concept, it was so well received. We were busy and continued with that concept for several years. A couple of years ago we revisited the restaurant idea and began discussing what we wanted to create and talked a lot about what was missing in Santa Monica.
Growing up in a small town in Rio, I knew I wanted to create a restaurant with a beach club atmosphere … delicious food made with simple ingredients and cooked with real firewood in a fun and inviting atmosphere. We used last year’s closure to redesign the restaurant, create new menus and assemble a fantastic team to launch The Beach Club at The Victorian.”
Helmed by Executive Chef Justin Aquino, the new concept centers on local staples reimagined through a versatile palette influenced by Mediterranean, French and Italian flavors. Aquino, previously with Mastro’s in Beverly Hills and CEO of Underground Prep, a healthy SoCal meal deliver service, brings over 16 years of experience to The Beach Club at The Victorian.
Classic techniques including an open wood fired grill power a dynamic seasonal menu that is sustainably sourced from local farmers markets and purveyors. Highlights include freshly shucked oysters, Mediterranean dips and flatbreads, and the Beach Club Burger made of ground brisket and cooked on a flat top. A sweet treat that guests will love is Auntie Del’s Cheesecake, a recipe that was passed down by the chef’s late aunt.
“The menu is Mediterranean-inspired with flavors from around the world,” Daguiar said. “We love all of the fresh seafood – lobster, shrimp and oysters. The truffle fries are a fan favorite. And our cheesecake, a family recipe, is one of the best in Los Angeles.”
Aquino added, “I’m thrilled to be a part of The Victorian’s new culinary chapter. Through this menu, I’m paying homage to the destinations that inspire me blended with treasured family favorites. My goal was to create a compilation of dishes that keeps patrons coming back, and I’m looking forward to welcoming returning and new guests.”
The restaurant, lounge and patio also serve a selection of Old and New World wines, spirits and craft beers. Cocktail menu highlights include Pina Peno with tequila, jalapeno, pineapple, lime and agave in addition to the I’m Basic with vodka, strawberry, lemon and agave. A customizable Japanese High Ball includes a choice of Japanese whiskey, vodka or gin plus club soda, tonic or ginger beer.
“Guests will love the fresh food, welcoming atmosphere and fun vibe,” Daguiar said. “Whether enjoying our outdoor patio or sitting inside our new dining room, we want guest – locals and visitors alike – to feel at home. We’re also working on an exciting project that will bring a new concept to The Victorian – and to LA. Stay tuned!”
The Beach Club at The Victorian is open for dinner on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 10 p.m., Fridays from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., and offers an all-day menu Saturdays from Noon to 1 a.m. and Sundays from Noon to 8 p.m. The Victorian Beach Club Lounge is open from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations are recommended but not required.