Cedar Creek Inn's fried chicken.
Cedar Creek Inn

Chef David Wilhelm has already revamped the food menus, drink, and wine lists at Cedar Creek Inn.

Chef David Wilhelm Buys Cedar Creek Inn in San Juan Capistrano, California

Veteran Chef and Restaurateur David Wilhelm has purchased Cedar Creek Inn in San Juan Capistrano’s historic Mission Promenade. Now at the helm of the kitchen, Wilhelm has revamped the menus at Cedar Creek Inn as he gears the restaurant up for a remodel and relaunch as Tavern at the Mission early next year.

Wilhelm and his business partner Gregg Solomon are both longtime residents of San Juan Capistrano. In November of 2022 they entered into a purchase agreement with the owners of Cedar Creek Inn. While extensive renovations are planned, the duo is committed to preserving the location's historical integrity and old-town charm. The reimagined space will include changes to the dining rooms and bar and an enhancement of the large outdoor patio including the addition of live music.

"As a San Juan Capistrano resident, I'm personally invested in maintaining the community's historic charm," comments Wilhelm, who's lived in San Juan Capistrano for nearly 5 years. "Our town has a uniquely rich history, and I couldn't be more excited to share a concept that reflects my own history as a chef and restauranteur with my community."

Over the past 40 years, Wilhelm has opened several iconic concepts throughout Orange County, including Jimmy's Famous American Tavern, French 75, Chat Noir, and Kachina, to name a few. In 2019, he opened Tavern House Kitchen & Bar overlooking the Newport Beach Marina. The popular coastal location with its horseshoe bar is a hotspot among locals and visitors alike. As perhaps the most prodigious restauranteur in Orange County, the menus at Wilhelm's latest concepts offer a look at some of his greatest hits from the past four decades exploring everything from French to Southwestern flare. 

Wilhelm has already revamped the food menus, drink and wine lists at Cedar Creek Inn. Guests can now enjoy Wilhelm's popular New American cuisine, comfort food classics, and dishes that pay homage to his storied history as a chef and restaurateur. The new elevated-yet-approachable menus will offer familiar favorites, including appetizers like French 75's Onion Soup with thyme, sherry, and AOP Gruyere and Wilhelm's Santa Fe Caesar Salad with green chile dressing, salsa fresca, avocado, roasted corn, parmesan, and chile-roasted pumpkin seeds. Hearty entrees will include D's Honey-Buttermilk Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes, Blue Lake green beans, and thyme gravy, as well as a Tequila Shrimp Pasta with poblano chile cream.

Much like the city itself, the menu at Tavern at the Mission will focus on California's multicultural history, drawing inspiration from Mexican, Spanish, and European cuisines. Guests can look forward to some of Wilhelm’s signature Southwestern creations, including his Maine Lobster and Corn Crepe ‘Burrito’ with chipotle cream sauce. A selection of best-sellers and fan favorites from Cedar Creek Inn, including its beloved Monte Cristo Sandwich and Coconut Cake will continue as menu mainstays, paying homage to the location's history.

"Cedar Creek Inn has been a staple in this community for more than twenty-five years," comments Wilhelm, "We'd like to honor that history and the loyal patrons who've frequented over the years by continuing to offer some of their most beloved menu items." 

Much like the Newport Beach location, the libations program will offer a selection of elegant martinis, handcrafted margaritas, and specialty seasonal craft cocktails. Guests will be able to enjoy a variety of holiday happenings and seasonal dishes including celebratory menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and brunch on New Year's Day. 

Cedar Creek Inn is located along San Juan Capistrano's historic Mission Promenade (26860 Old Mission Road). It will be open Monday through Saturday for lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and for dinner from 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Brunch will be offered Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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