More OC Sandwich News: Cafe Chiarini Reopening Soon, Sage Café in Danger of Closing

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Say it ain't so

They say things happen in threes. Last Tuesday, Niyaz broke the news about Cafe Chiarini's closure. Then, Edwin learned of the prime Angus ribeye withdrawls folks were experiencing at Harry's Deli. Our sixth sense got the best of us, and we motored over to Kevin Nagano's Sage Cafe for sanctuary. . . . only to be informed otherwise. Despite the packed space and line before us, he shared more disheartening news.

Before we get to that, however, let's get up to speed on our other two establishments. Here's what little we do know. After calling our friend Iliana Chiarini, she did confirm something:
They ARE, in fact, reopening. Just not quite yet. Without disclosing too much, Iliana explained that the cafe was undergoing "restructuring and reorganizing". Maybe another month or two, but we don't want to be quoted. In the meantime we sit idly, craving their tarragon chicken salad. You can read a heartfelt message made by her on Cafe Chiarini's Facebook page.

Harry's Deli last tweeted in early March that there was an "announcement coming soon!" Still no word as to what the message meant, but Edwin heard from the man himself that they are getting closer to reopening either end of this month or sometime next.

So now we're back to Sage. Simply put, my favorite sandwich joint is on the verge of closing. They've got another month in the space before something either does or doesn't hit the fan. I had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin last summer, and became a follower of their daily texts ever since. We discussed the drama going on, and here's what he expressed,

"I believe that people deserve good healthy food at a reasonable price. There are too many chains in the OC, and people appreciate food made with love. This is proven with the loyal following we've had during our run. I've been in the business for many years, and have never had such a wonderful core of clientele. I hope Fat Mona makes a return soon."


We never imagined ourselves to be rallying for soups, salads and sandwiches. Yet these three businesses give them a good name. Made with quality, personality and care, each has their own following. We can hope for the best for Sage, but only time will tell. We're already mourning the loss of, well, anything they recommend..

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Location Info

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Cafe Chiarini (Reopening Soon) - CLOSED

1002 W. 3rd St., Santa Ana, CA

Category: General

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2 comments
Jordan Wallick
Jordan Wallick

Shame on Cafe Chairini. If only you knew the REAL reason why they closed, you would NEVER want them to re-open. Illiana needs therapy and medication, badly. Worst boss in the world, scheming, underhanded, backstabbing and evil. They might re-open, but they will do so WITHOUT the original Chef or Pastry Chef, so good luck getting crappy second rate food, cuz it will never be like it once was. Good food or not, this Cafe closing was the best thing for everyone. Bad bosses dont deserve to have anything successful.

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