Orange County is a major center for domestic and international businesses. Even after the office lights go dim, corporate execs are burning the candle at both ends networking and negotiating business deals over a glass of wine or beer. It’s no surprise that classy, upscale bars can be found in nearly every city in OC. If you’re looking to wine and dine an important business contact, these bars offer a ritzy atmosphere and are perfect for a professional tête-à-tête.
The Twisted Vine
127 W. Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
It’s a place where both wine connoisseurs and novices can mingle without pretension. The Twisted Vine is a great place to relax, enjoy some good food and talk shop in a down-to-earth setting. This Fullerton hotspot is the dreamchild of two married wine lovers, and the personal touch is evident. The fine wine selection and ambiance of this wine bar make it a sophisticated meeting spot for a drink with clients or colleagues.
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
2647 Park Ave.
Tustin, CA 92782
This Tustin wine bar pairs fine wine with award-winning culinary creations. The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar has received rave reviews from Zagat, the Orange County Business Journal, OC Register and Wine Spectator, among others. With a state-of-the-art wine cellar that can hold up to 7,500 wine bottles, you’re bound to find the perfect blend for you and your business contacts. You can even step it up a notch and grab a table in the Havana, a 300-square-foot humidor patio where you can relax and smoke a premium cigar while doing business.
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31 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
If you’re looking for a chic, urban atmosphere with a bit of a rustic flair, check out Cucina Enoteca, a recent addition to the Irvine Spectrum. Conduct your business over drinks surrounded by rusty wire lamps and reclaimed wooden tables. The décor here is as eclectic as the food. Although considered Italian cuisine, the ingredients in these dishes are as fantastic as their names. Try the ricotta gnudi or chocolate budino. You and your business contact can taste test the food while imbibing something clean and crisp, bubbly or full and feisty.
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2411 E. Coast Highway, Suite 250
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
If your business cohort enjoys hand-crafted, limited-production wines, then the Wine Gallery in Corona Del Mar is the place to meet. From domestic wines to imports, the Wine Gallery’s inventory and selection is mind-boggling. The tasting bar will get you up close and personal with some rare wines while allowing you the space to carry on an important conversation. When you and your business contact are done with your flights of wine, take in the ocean air along the coast and let the mood of the moment seal your business deal.
Urban Grill & Wine Bar
27412 Portola Parkway, Suite D
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610
Some of the greatest business negotiations have occurred during happy hour. At Urban Grill & Wine Bar, you can sip some wine or chug a hand-crafted draft beer before 6 p.m. and pay only $5 a glass. While you focus on closing the deal, Urban Grill will focus on serving up mouth-watering appetizers like warm tri-tip sliders and Panko-crusted chicken with chipotle aioli.
Truc Dever is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.