Set to open around Thanksgiving, it finally premiered this month.
The first thing you may notice about Harlow is the themed rooms. The second might be that you're drinking alcohol from teacups. Poured by a bartender with a handlebar moustache.
It's Prohibition chic.
With her 23 years experience in the restaurant business and party planning, San Juan Capistrano resident Bonnie Harlow Kingston is opening her first restaurant and bar with whimsical dining rooms which feature house favorites and comfort foods with modern infusions.
“I simply wanted to open the kind of place that I would want to go, and I wanted it to be close to home. There’s nothing like Harlow’s in San Juan Capistrano and maybe not anywhere in Orange County, so I had to create it,” Kingston said.
The cozy yet imaginative design of the restaurant and bar features the “The Gatsby” room and “The Rabbit Hole” for Alice in Wonderland fans. According to Kingston, “The Gatsby” will offer a place for local artists to display their 1920s-themed works for sale.
Kingston wanted to express her love for literature in the bar’s design, making it a place where customers can enjoy a unique night out, she said.
The cocktails served from the “Apothecary,” Harlow’s bar, features "classic Prohibition Era favorites" served in teacups "like they were in certain establishments during the 1920s to disguise their illicit elixirs,” Kingston said.
Meanwhile, the Harlow’s menu leans toward the health conscious, she said.
Kingston uses locally grown, sustainable, organic and non-GMO produce. The kitchen will use organic meats and seafood caught and brought in fresh, daily. The handcrafted cocktails will be made with organic ingredients as well, along with gluten-free beverage options, she said.
Harlow’s looks forward to the seasonally changing menu, accompanied with creative seasonal cocktails, Kingston said.
“Autumn and winter will bring more of the cozy comfort foods and spring and summer with feature lighter more refreshing fare,” she said.