Commonwealth Lounge & Grill

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Very Good
2 Ratings

Type: Bar

2406 Newport Blvd
Newport Beach, California, 92663
United States

(949) 675-4444 | map

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Added by stoad on 11-12-2010

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Ratings: 2 |  Reviews: 2
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited on a recent vacation. Went out of my way to find this place and I am happy that I did. There seemed to be about 15 taps, mostly California craft beer plus a few others, including Palm and Duvel (?). The list was solid, including Pliny, Hop Henge, Speedway Stout, a few Stone offerings (including Smoked Porter), Green Flash IPA and others.

The atmosphere was pretty cool as well, especially the balcony which overlooked the water and had comfortable seating.

The only food we ordered was dessert, and if you go there you HAVE TO ORDER THE SMORES. What a cool dessert! Went really well with a Stone IRS as well.

This is the place to go in Newport beach. No question.

 679 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Let's face it, I'm a bar hunter. Whenever I hear about a new and possibly exciting bar for craft beer that isn't too far out of the way, I must pay a visit. To further the incentive of visiting Commonwealth Lounge in Newport Beach, I was just moved to work in Costa Mesa. After a long day at work and after dinner, I headed this way.

There's a small parking lot for the lounge which is valet only, however there is plenty of free parking on the street. (Despite the parking meters, you don't need to pay after 6pm.) The interior is elegant, though some might say it's feels like a nightclub. It's a two story place, both with bars, however on a Thursday night only the second floor bar was in operation. You sit in low laying, comfy lounge chairs if you're sitting at the bar. A big window overlooks the numerous yachts just outside in the water, as well as the San Joaquin Hills. The bathroom is fully stocked with fragrances and a bathroom attendant. Despite the haute class impression, you don't need to dress to impress (per one of the owners, more on him later), just don't act like an ass.

I approached the second level bar looking for a beer menu. The items listed on the menu looked attractive; 24 beers on-tap with only 2 of them being mass produced offering. The dozen bottles offer some other mass produced offerings, but also Stone Ruination, Three Philosophers, and Hitachino Nest White. The jackpot rests in the draught selection; The Bruery (Orchard White, Loakal Red), Bootlegger's (Kunckle Sandwich, Old World Hefeweizen), New Belgium (Ranger IPA), Palm, Duvel Draft, Lost and Found, Stone (IPA, Arrogant Bastard), Sierra Nevada (Southern Hemisphere, 30th Anniversary), Endless Summer, O'Hara's Stout, Green Flash IPA, Yellowtail Pale Ale. I didn't see any prices listed for the beers, so you're left guessing how much you pay (which is why service is 4 and not 4.5). Glassware could be a little better too. There are Bruery, Palm, and Sierra Nevada branded tulips for their beers, but standard shaker glassware for everything else (including the Lost and Found I ordered). That said, the beers I tried were in good shape and not served too cold.

Eventually I got around to meeting one of the owners. After he spontaneously poured me a taster of Knuckle Sandwich, he introduced himself as Bryan, and he had asked me how I heard of the place. Well, I heard about it because of BeerAdvocate. I kid you not, he got really excited when he heard that reply. We chattered for a bit, he introduced me to several people, then I was poured a taster of Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary (which is the 9.2%ABV one with 22% aged in barrels?). He was also open to new ideas that he could use.

The food looked very tempting, but I passed because I already ate. (Update 5/13/11: tried the prime rib sliders and baked brie. Both are great, especially the baked brie with apricot glaze.) There are bevy of different deals offereed every night. Happy hour from 4-7pm means $4 for most craft beers on-tap. Surprising to me, my draft beers were $6, and they weren't teeny tiny pours either. I would have paid more and received less at Hollingshead's for example.

Craft beer that isn't Newport Beach Brewing has arrived on the peninsula. The move to my new workplace has already paid dividens for me, and Commonwealth Lounge & Grill is like icing on the cake.

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Commonwealth Lounge & Grill in Newport Beach, CA
Place rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 2 ratings