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NEWPORTBEACHINDY . COM SEPTEMBER 30 , 2022 | VOLUME XIV , ISSUE 20
Beloved Wilma ’ s Patio Restaurant Celebrates 40 Years on Balboa Island
Wilma ’ s Patio Restaurant / photo by Chris Trela ; Sheri Drewry , daughter of Wilma Staudinger and current owner of Wilma ’ s Patio
By Christopher Trela | NB Indy
Dozens of restaurants have come and gone on Balboa Island , but only one has endured for four decades : Wilma ’ s Patio .
Wilma and Maurice Staudinger opened Wilma ’ s Patio on September 7 , 1982 . The 40- year anniversary is an impressive milestone in Newport Beach ’ s culinary world . According to Sheri Drewry , the daughter of Wilma and Maurice who now runs the day-to-day restaurant operation with her husband , Dave , Wilma ’ s Patio has been celebrating all month long .
Drewry remembers when her parents opened Wilma ’ s Patio down the street from the current location . Their grand opening excitement , said Drewry , was short-lived .
“ They opened on September 7 and closed five days later ,” stated Drewry . “ They had hired the chef from the Jolly Roger restaurant to put together a menu for them , but they came from the fast-food arena and did not have the experience of a sit down restaurant . The chef created an elaborate menu with oysters and crab and lobster and steaks . The place was tiny and the menu was too big . My parents did not know how to manage it .”
Turns out the chef was taking half of the food out the back door and home , so Wilma fired everyone except on person : Vinnie Martinez , who still works for Wilma ’ s patio 40 years later .
“ They scaled back the menu to one page with breakfast and a few lunch items , reopened with a new crew , and created something they could manage ,” said Drewry .
After a couple of months , Drewry – who was living in the San Fernando Valley – got a call from her mother asking her to help run
Newport Beach City Manager Update
Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung
the restaurant . Drewry has been laid off , so moving to a beach town and working in a restaurant was an easy decision .
Locals came to love dining at Wilma ’ s , so eventually the menu expanded to include dinner .
In the fall of 1997 , Wilma ’ s Patio had the opportunity to take over the space where the Jolly Roger restaurant once stood , although Maurice did not live to see the new restaurant — he passed away prior to the move .
The new space was much larger than the old restaurant , and Drewry said that led to new challenges .
“ We did not do well right off the bat ,” admitted Drewry . “ We made a lot of mistakes . We did not know how to manage something this big . It
WILMA ’ S Page 8
By Grace Leung , Newport Beach City Manager
Congratulations to all those from the Newport Beach Fire Department who were recognized at the 24th Annual Fire & Lifeguard Appreciation Dinner on Tuesday , September 20 :
• Letters of commendations were awarded to lifeguards Jason Aigner and Carly Christian .
• Awards of merit went to Fire Engineer Erin Brown , Firefighter-paramedic Chad Duncan and Firefighter Jude Olivas . Life saving awards were given to Fire Captain Jim Boland , Firefighter-paramedic Geoff Cathey , Fire Engineer Peter Garcia , Firefighterparamedic Jeremiah Martin , and Firefighterparamedic Aaron Reed .
• Medal of Valor awards were presented to Lifeguard Andrew Belden , Fire Engineer Mark Garman , Lifeguard Captain Andy Hayes , Fire Engineer Travis Shook , and Fire Captain Jimmy Strack .
• Foster Hoose was awarded the 2022 Seasonal Lifeguard of the Year . Foster has served the City as a seasonal lifeguard since 2016 , and is now working as a deckhand on the Fire Department ’ s sea watch rescue boats .
• 2022 Civilian of the Year honors went to Ralph Gerardo , fire facilities coordinator . Ralph , who has served as an Orange County
CITY MANAGER Page 10
SPEAK UP NEWPORT HOSTS ASSEMBLY , SENATE , CONGRESS CANDIDATES OCT . 12
Meet the Candidates for State Assembly District # 72 , State Senate District # 36 , and 47th Congressional District at the Speak Up Newport meeting on Wednesday , Oct . 12 .
District Boundaries have been redrawn , creating interesting and important races for the 72nd State Assembly and 36th State Senate Districts .
Speak Up Newport has invited all the candidates to appear and present their case on why they should receive your vote for these important positions in the November 8 General Election . The candidates are : 72nd Assembly District : Diane Dixon ( Republican ) and Judie Mancuso ( Democrat ).
36th Senate District : Janet Nguyen ( Republican ) and Kim Carr ( Democrat ).
47th Congressional District : Scott Baugh ( Republican ). Incumbent Democratic candidate Kate Porter was invited to participate but could not attend .
The Speak Up Newport meeting will be held at the Civic Center Community Room , 100 Civic Center Dr . on Wednesday , Oct . 12 . Reception is 5:15 p . m ., Program is 6 to 7 p . m .
If you have a question you would like to ask the speaker , please send it to : question @ speakupnewport . com . Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the program .
SUN Webinars on ZOOM have been so successful during COVID that SUN will be simulcasting the live program via ZOOM for those that cannot attend in person . To participate in the ZOOM Webinar , register at speakupnewport . com .
No registration needed for live event .
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