Garden Grove

Here’s the dirt: Teemu’s on the team

THE GROUND is broken at the future site of the SteelCraft Garden Grove urban eatery Monday morning. City officials and development staff wielded the shovels (Orange County Tribune photos).

By Jim Tortolano


The groundbreaking ceremony held Monday morning for the SteelCraft urban eatery on Euclid Street in Garden Grove was more than just speeches and flying dirt. To the lineup of trendy and gourmet businesses soon to inhabit the development in the heart of what city leaders hope will be a revitalized and expanded downtown, there was an Olympic-sized addition.

Teemu Selanne, a Hall of Fame ice hockey star played 15 seasons with the Mighty Ducks/Anaheim Ducks and who skated for his native Finland in five Winter Olympics, will be bringing Penalty Box, a burger, fries and hot dog venue to the complex. SteelCraft Garden Grove, like the original in Long Beach, will be composed of repurposed steel shipping containers.

HALL OF FAME hockey star Teemu Selanne (at left) chats with Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones.

The announcement of Selanne’s inclusion added to the buzz at the first symbolic step for the project.

Martin Howard, president of developer Howard/CDM, said, “We’re super excited to be here. It’s amazing how much support we got from the City of Garden Grove.”

The woman whose original idea led to the first SteelCraft in Long Beach, Kim Gros, predicted great things for the Garden Grove location. “This place is going to bring so much more life here,” she said. “Great food, great entertainment and a great place for people to meet and share stories.

Mayor Steve Jones recounted how the “Re-Imagine Downtown Garden Grove” events with their open streets aspect for pedestrian and bike riders caught the attention of avid cyclist Howard. “Somehow we miraculously got on his radar.”

City Manager Scott Stiles, tongue firmly in cheek, suggested one potential drawback to the idea. “I’m a little worried about something in this project. That building,” he said, pointing, “is City Hall. I’m worried about someday looking out that window at about 1 o’clock and seeing our whole work force hanging out.”

One other person that Jones hopes will hang out is Selanne. “I hope Teemu read his contract,” said the mayor. “It requires him to be here at least once a day, as soon as this thing pops up.”

Other tenants expected to “pop up” at the development – built on the former site of the Black Angus restaurant – will include

  • Urban Pie: pizza and other Italian food
  • Dark Horse: coffee
  • The Chick N Shack: chicken
  • Ren E Gad (Renegade) Taco: Mexican food
  • Cauldron: ice cream
  • Beachwood Brewery: craft beer
  • The Nest: breakfast
  • Honey & Butter: macrons and other dessert items.

The project is expected to be completed and ready for business in the fall of 2018.

IT WAS a breezy day on Monday for developer Martin Howard at the groundbreaking for SteelCraft Garden Grove. The urban eatery will feature a variety of cuisine items and should open later this year.

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