The Aventura Island Bar & Grill offers a yacht club–type feel with a full bar, indoor and outdoor seating and views of the Harbor

Dana Point Times, Vol.1, Issue 39, October 31-November 6, 2008

By Nathan Wright

For 32 years the Aventura Sailing Association has offered would-be boaters the opportunity to sail without the requirement of owning a boat. Now three decades later, they want to offer the community even more access to the Dana Point Harbor.

On October 24 Aventura officially opened the Aventura Island Bar & Grill, an eatery located on the association building’s second floor with a full bar, a large screen television, an inside- and outside-dining area with views of the Harbor. The facility feels more like a yacht club that a restaurant, which is exactly the point.

“Our members kept asking us to be more like a yacht club,” said Johnanna Lynn, the events and special events planner for the Aventura Sailing Association. And so Aventura obliged.

The Aventura Island Bar & Grill is open to the public, but Lynn said association members receive discounts and she hopes that the restaurant will attract new members for the association’s sailing operations. Aventura owns more than 25 sailboats in the 30- to 45-foot range and has 850 members.

The association is made up of boaters ranging from novice to expert. Some take lessons to learn—9,000 students have gone through the Aventura’s Sailing Academy since 1976—while others have decades of experience and use Aventura’s sailboats instead of buying their own and renting slips inside the Harbor.

Now Lynn hopes that the bar and grill will add another social component to the business, providing members with another reason to head down to the Harbor to meet up, hang out and sail with friends. “We’re really open to new, fun things,” she said. “We hope to start holding art shows featuring Dana Point artists.”

The menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees, including Oh Those Blueberry Pancakes, Ahoy Mate (a three-egg omelet), Ruben sandwich, Philly-cheese sandwich, fish ‘n’ chips and the fresh catch of the day.

The venue will also be available to the community for parties and events—including wedding receptions—but Lynn said she doesn’t plan on closing the venue to members on a regular basis.

The October 24 grand opening was heavily attended by the Dana Point business community and representatives from many political offices. City Councilmember Lara Anderson presented a proclamation from the city, and council candidate Lou Penrose was also on hand to extend congratulations from Rep. John Campbell.

The Aventura Island Bar & Grill is open on Friday from 5 p.m.–10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.–10 p.m. (drinks only from 2 p.m.–5 p.m.). The venue is also available for special events. For more information visit www.aventurasailing.com or call 949.493.9493. The address is 24707 Dana Drive, Dana Point.

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