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Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

In March of 2020, Chef Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak Orange County celebrated its second anniversary.

After the statewide mandate for restaurant closures, Bourbon Steak has reopened with expanded outdoor dining overlooking Monarch Beach Resort’s Grand Lawn. Now, the restaurant is entering its third year with the promotion of their new Executive Chef, Chris Sanchez.

Bourbon Steak Orange County is entering its third year with the promotion of their new Executive Chef, Chris Sanchez. Photo: Courtesy of Monarch Beach Resort

Sanchez, who most recently served as the restaurant’s Executive Sous Chef, opened Bourbon Steak Orange County in 2018 and helped lead the restaurant during its first two years. His journey with the Monarch Beach Resort began back in 2010, when it was formally known as The St. Regis Monarch Beach, working as a sous chef for the property’s various outlets.

Before joining the resort’s culinary operations team, Sanchez worked at other Orange County culinary locations, including Patina Group, Marche Moderne, and the Disneyland Resort.

© 2018 Galdones Photography

Bourbon Steak Orange County is located within Monarch Beach Resort at 1 Monarch Beach Drive, Dana Point. The new American steakhouse is open nightly for dinner from 5:30-10 p.m. For more information, visit

Monarch Beach Resort has launched the StaySafe Program encompassing cleanliness, sanitization and physical distancing standards for the well-being of guests. Monarch Beach Resort’s safety protocol has been informed by the public health and epidemiology experts at University of California, Irvine. Per State of California guidelines, Bourbon Steak Orange County and all restaurants at Monarch Beach Resort are offering outdoor dining and to-go service, with indoor service temporarily suspended.

“For Orange County to be able to reopen safely, it can’t just be public health experts saying we need to implement the kinds of policies and procedures that will keep everyone safe,” said Karen Edwards, professor and chair of epidemiology at UCI and the lead faculty member for the project. “Businesses have to want to do that, too. And Monarch Beach Resort is demonstrating that many of them do.”

Advice on health and safety practices and training is likely to focus on hand hygiene, masking, staff workflows, self-monitoring and other virus mitigation techniques.

Monarch Beach Resort paused services on March 19 after lockdown orders by the state. In May, it created the StaySafe Program, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols, state and local guidelines, and industry best practices. Ninety days after closing, the resort resumed operations, returning 500 employees to work.

This consultation agreement is the first of its kind between Monarch Beach Resort and UCI.

“As the only program in public health in Orange County, we have an obligation to assist our community,” Edwards said. “I think there’s a gap in this area for us to step up and offer these types of services. This has the potential to have a major positive impact.”

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