A Taste of California Comes to Newport

NEWPORT CITY – Another new restaurant will soon grace downtown Newport, making the Main Street area the place to be for good food. Scott and Lisa Shipley will open the Habanero’s Mexican Grille at 8 a.m. today. It is located at the former Peeking Garden Chinese Restaurant.Scott, originally from southern California, said he wanted to experience a different way of life. Back in California, he was a real-estate broker. “I got tired of doing that,” he said. “I decided to take my savings, come up here and open a restaurant. I love cooking and I always wanted to own a restaurant.”Scott first visited Newport on Christmas Day in 2010. He visited the area three additional times before moving here permanently three months ago. Scott said he thought about what type of restaurant he wanted before moving. He liked the idea of having his restaurant on Main Street where there are many other businesses. Main Street also has a lot of foot traffic.Many of the restaurant's dishes come from recipes Scott has played with over the years. He also found some ideas on the Internet and modified them to his liking and he also got input from trained chefs.“I think Mexican is my favorite food to make,” Scott said. “It’s a really nice comfort food. There are not many ingredients and it’s an inexpensive food make. It really tastes good.”Scott likes using fresh products; his nachos have fresh grated cheese. Scott didn’t go to culinary school for cooking, but he has learned from some classically trained chefs. He even took a class from Wolfgang Puck.“I love cooking and always have, ever since I was little,” he said. “I always loved being in the kitchen.”Scott wants to bring authentic Mexican food at a reasonable price to Newport. He also said he doesn’t put a lot of spices in his food. However, he is willing to add spices to those who would like more.Scott plans to be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He said many of his foods are prepared fresh and quick. For those not in the mood for Mexican, the restaurant offers poutine, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and French fries.Habanero’s Mexican Grille is located at 137 Main Street.