When it opened in 1971, Lido Marina Village was a Newport Beach hotspot – right on the water in Newport harbor with restaurants, nightclubs and boutiques. Here was a Mediterranean plaza with 14 buildings enclosing 210,000 square feet on a five-acre site.
The brick-paved Via Oporto was alive with fountains, benches and hanging flower baskets. The Warehouse restaurant, opening a few years later, had a huge bar signed by such dignitaries as John Wayne (and yours truly), and down the way was the Magic Island nightclub.
But times change, tastes change and the economy turns. Lido Marina Village has changed hands and is now owned by Vornado Realty Trust, which is considering a number of options for returning the venue to its previous glory.
New is a 13,000-square-foot gym called Curl Fitness, but vacancy is still near 80%. The location is special and the options are open. We will have to await future development.