A Retro Hideout

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Skyloft x Herbs_credit Sharon Williams
Herb’s BBQ Burger with grilled pineapple and crispy onion rings, plus fries and a shake | Photo by Sharon Williams

Feel like you’re turning back time in this new 1970s-inspired space at Skyloft.

By Sharon Stello


At the top of the stairs, through the orange velvet curtains, a retro room awaits inside Skyloft. Brightly colored chairs are gathered around tables topped with vintage band poster designs from Metallica to Nirvana, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Pixies. A record player spins tunes above a rack of board games in the corner. Wood paneling, leather couches, nostalgic photos, kitschy decor and neon lights round out the throwback space.

Herb’s Place, a drinks-and-barbecue joint with a 1970s vibe, quietly opened right before the holidays in December. Step inside to find chill vibes and funky beats. It’s the perfect place to stay and hang out for a while.

HerbsPlace_BrisketNachos_Samantha Wharton
The brisket nachos, with baked beans and Cajun aioli on top | Photo by Samantha Wharton

If the decor feels familiar, it’s because it was designed by the same team behind Bodega Laguna Cocina & Cantina below Skyloft; the sister restaurants are owned by Ivan Spiers, who also has Mozambique and Rumari  in town. For the latest transformations, he partnered with longtime friend Jimmy Duval of Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern in Dana Point and Duval’s fiancee and design partner, Amanda Whitney.

The couple modeled the look and feel of Herb’s Place after Duval’s basement growing up, and the name is an homage to Duval’s father. “My friends used to call my house Herb’s Place in the ’70s and ’80s,” he shares. “… My pop would feed burgers and amazing barbecue to my neighbors and friends.”

After checking out the surroundings, grab a seat and order something to sip on. Try the sweet Georgia Peach Cobbler cocktail with peach-infused vodka, peach schnapps, caramel drizzle and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Or consider the pear mule with pear-infused vodka, St-Germain liqueur, citrus and ginger beer. Plenty of other options abound, too, from a pomegranate martini to a cucumber-jalapeno margarita, sangria, beer and wine.

Skyloft x Herbs interior_credit Sharon Williams
Herb’s Place inside Skyloft | Photo by Sharon Williams

A great appetizer to share with friends is the brisket nachos, piled high with pieces of smoked brisket, pepper jack cheese, avocado and pico de gallo. Baked beans lend a touch of sweetness while extra flavor comes from a Cajun aioli. Or get a Skyloft Sampler to nibble on: It comes with 2 ounces each of smoked turkey and brisket plus barbecue ribs, chicken andouille sausage, charred Brussels sprouts and sides of barbecue sauce and spicy mustard.

For those with a bigger appetite, enjoy a full meal in this throwback hideaway. Build a barbecue plate with your choice of meat and sides like macaroni and cheese, sweet potato fries, coleslaw, citrus white rice or mashed potatoes. And the pulled pork sandwich is a must-try, with smoked and shredded pork shoulder smothered in barbecue sauce and topped with tangy mustard seed coleslaw.

A long lineup of burgers and sandwiches also fit the bill for dinner such as the Blue Sky Burger with blue cheese crumbles, fried shallots and Buffalo sauce, and the Herb’s BBQ Burger, which layers American cheese, grilled pineapple, coleslaw and crispy onion rings.

Skyloft x Herbs barbecue plate_Sharon Williams
A barbecue plate | Photo by Sharon Williams

End the evening with decadent dessert like butter cake with strawberries, banana-pecan bread pudding or flourless chocolate ganache. Or order a milkshake: Boozy shakes include the Cherry Bomb and Cinnamon Toast while traditional shakes come in flavors such as chocolate, banana, Oreo, vanilla, blueberry or the Herbspectacular combo of strawberry and peach. You’ll feel like a kid again—and with the retro decor, you might just think for a moment that you’ve been transported back in time.

Herb’s Place (inside Skyloft)

422 S. Coast Highway
949-715-1550; skyloftoc.com/herbs-place

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