New plans for restaurant on Huntington pier

Huntington Beach pier by Vin Le

A new restaurant named ‘Huntington’s’ is the front-runner in taking over the spot of Ruby’s Diner on the pier after previous owners filed bankruptcy and it closed seven years ago. A local group named Surf City Partners pitched to have a restaurant with indoor-outdoor bar seating take the place of the beloved Ruby’s Diner.

“Ruby’s is a fine proposal, but I would like to take a risk for something that is truly great,” says Councilman Dan Kalmick in an interview with the The OC Register.

Ruby’s conglomerate took a hit as Surf City Partners shut their idea of a new Ruby’s on the Huntington pier down and explained to the city council that they want to open a unique restaurant, not one that’s part of a large chain. While the future of this building is still unknown, Huntington’s seems to have a profound effect on citizens and the city council.

“Ruby’s was such a large part of our life growing up in my family,” said Jackson Carlton, local of Huntington Beach. “It was always a must when we visited the pier, the view is insane.”

Ruby’s sat on the very edge of the pier, with views everywhere you look due to the top level and large windows.

“It’s a very aggressive and visionary proposal – high risk, high reward” Kriss Cassanova, an economic development manager tells The OC Register.

Without pushing for a better future, citizens are worried Ruby’s may just crash and burn once again. Surf City Partners along with developers feel it’s time to create something new and something unique that tourists and locals can enjoy.

Huntington Beach Pier has many traditions that have been going on since the 1990’s, and even with the Pandemic this year the beach city plans to continue the weekly arts and crafts fair at Pier Plaza.

“I couldn’t imagine seeing anything but Ruby’s on the pier,” said Patricia Lung, who visits Huntington Beach often. “Although change is always good, I can’t help but feel that what’s next won’t even come close to the greatness of Ruby’s.”

After the bankruptcy filed in 2018 by the Ruby’s restaurant on the pier, the lease has been taken over and plans of a “seafood-themed restaurant” is the end goal currently.

“The lease of the building, which is owned by the city has been acquired by a group led by Alexander Leff,” Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said. 

The permitting process to change this building is expected to take 4-6 months and many locals and admirers of Ruby’s stopped by to say goodbye to this restaurant that has been serving Huntington Beach since 1996.

With these changes comes adaptations for locals who remember Ruby’s for different reasons, including a couple who got married right behind the building on Dec. 24, 2001. Jessica Ogo told the Los Angeles Times she had her first date with her husband in 1997 at the same Ruby’s on the Huntington Beach Pier.

Including shakes, chicken tenders, fries and hamburgers, Ruby’s has been serving the city of Huntington Beach for over twenty years with their view and menu.