Member Spotlight: Ocean at Main
January Chamber Spotlight
I am pleased to start our new monthly Chamber Spotlight feature on one of the most deserving restaurants in Laguna. Chef Strong is a good man, phenomenal Chef and cares about this community. His 25-year career cooking all over the world and earning a Michelin Star in his time at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena paved the way for 9 years as Executive Chef at the Studio at Montage. Having opened his own restaurant in 2018, Ocean at Main is a culinary delight in the heart of downtown Laguna. Chef Strong serves on the Board of Directors for the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce.
His desire to give back and see our community grow is serving both the Chamber and community well. I spent some time with Chef Strong recently and wanted to share some of his perspective.
J.J. Ballesteros: Can you share with us a brief history on your business and your motivation behind it?
Craig Strong: After working for luxury brand hotels for 25 years, I have dreamt about opening a restaurant for Laguna Beach locals where I could showcase all the food that I enjoy eating refined with culinary techniques I’ve learned throughout my career. Ocean at Main was created to have great service, food, and ambiance, with a local neighborhood restaurant feel.
JB: Why did you join the Laguna Beach Chamber?
CS: I joined the Chamber to grow personally and to strengthen relationships with members of the community, as well as my fellow board members. Laguna Beach is my home and I wanted to participate in shaping the landscape of Laguna Beach's future and share with the community a perspective that may benefit Laguna's residents and businesses.
JB: In what areas of the Chamber were you looking to get involved in?
CS: I’m looking forward to assisting with events that will showcase Laguna Beach including the Taste of Laguna, Hospitality Night, Art Walks, as well as the development of the Downtown Specific Plan.
JB: Can you tell us something fun about your restaurant that people wouldn’t know?
CS: Word on the street is that Laguna locals have been hoping for a Happy Hour at Ocean at Main, so we're launching this now. We’ll rotate in fun specials like Taco Tuesday, Humpday Hamburgers, Throwback Thursday grilled cheese and tomato soup, French Onion Friday, Shaved Steak Sandwich Saturday, Sunday Supper chicken pot pie. We’re excited about showcasing fun comfort foods at a discounted price from 4pm-6pm.
JB: What is it about Laguna that made you want to open a restaurant here?
CS: My wife and I fell in love with Laguna Beach 10 years ago when we moved here. There is a great sense of community coupled with its natural beauty. Now we have a daughter that goes to Top of the World and the relationships we’ve developed within our community are continuing to grow.
JB: Do you have any advice for new business owners?
CS: Find something you love and give it everything you got!!!
If you have not tried Ocean at Main, I would make your reservation today. You will not be disappointed!
Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce