7,000-pound pizza oven shoehorns its way into Slice

By Diane Armitage

I stopped in today at the Lumberyard and owner Cary Redfearn was grinning from ear to ear. It turns out his oven for his new restaurant across the street (Slice), arrived early Wednesday morning…via forklift. 

This 7,000-pound girl ain’t no ordinary oven. 

She was custom made by Maryland-based Marra Forni, top-of-the-line pizza ovens imagineered by Naples, Italy descendants, the Marra Family. 

Credit: Suzanne Redfearn

The front end of the 7,000-pound pizza oven delivered to Slice restaurant this week

This particular oven is a “rotator,” meaning it can be programmed to fire a large number of pizzas at one time, rotating each through a 90-second cycle for perfect, convection-style baking. 

Yes, that’s right: 90 seconds to fire a perfectly finished 11-inch pizza. The oven fires at a mere 700 degrees and (thankfully) does not require any reaching in and repositioning of pizzas during the cooking process. 

It’s a perfect solution for Redfearn’s custom pizza-making restaurant. 

“It will take more time to assemble someone’s pizza to their specifications than it will to cook it,” say Redfearn. 

Gourmet pizza in 90 seconds

Slice, which is in final construction phase directly across from Redfearn’s popular Lumberyard restaurant, hopes to open by the end of September. It is primarily intended for a cash-and-carry audience, including busy Laguna Beach residents who want to quickly order gourmet pizza their way and leave with their pizza prize - boxed and ready to go - in a matter of just a few minutes. 

During the months of construction, Redfearn has perfected his secret pizza sauce, and will be topping his pies with organic, locally grown ingredients. 

While a “pizza of the day” will be offered, patrons will be able to walk up to Slice’s counter and walk through an “assembly line” of ingredients to build their own pizza, much like a Subway sandwich shop. 

How an oven became the diva of the construction site

“We couldn’t bring the oven in until we had all the proper tile laid on the floor and wall behind,” says Redfearn.

“But, we couldn’t start the finish of the walls and interior until we had the oven in place because it’s just so enormous. So, it’s all been a timing issue.”   

Early Wednesday morning, before traffic began to pile onto Forest Avenue, a giant forklift arrived with Redfearn’s treasure.

For the next hour, he and the forklift team worked to shoehorn the enormous oven through the front (note: historical) windows of the store.

“Even a quarter inch in the wrong direction, and we would have been replacing all our plate glass windows, “says Redfearn. “It was quite an amazing delivery.”

I, for one, am looking forward to the pizza this new Slice resident delivers. The end of September can’t come soon enough.

Diane Armitage is the best-selling author of the book, The Best of Laguna Beach, and offers a cornucopia of ideas and upcoming events at her blog, LagunaBeachBest.com

Woman’s Club will honor Barbara Crane as Woman of the Year on Aug 18

Barbara Crane, 30-year resident of Laguna Beach and past president of the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach, will be honored at a community luncheon on Friday, Aug 18. 

Barbara Crane

The Woman of the Year award recognizes a Laguna Beach resident who has demonstrated outstanding community service as a volunteer.

Crane is being recognized for her service as a Board member on School Power, on Children’s Repertory Theater, and on the Chamber of Commerce. She has also been an active member of other community groups.

For the past three years Crane has also been President of the Woman’s Club. Her service to the Club during this period has been innovative and dedicated and has resulted in strengthening the position of the Club in the local community.

The luncheon will be at the Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Drive from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For reservations contact www.wclb.org/events. The general public is invited.

California Coastal Commission votes 9-0 to approve Longi/Dornin proposal for artist work/live units

On Wednesday, the California Coastal Commission voted 9-0 to approve sculptor Louis Longi and partner Chris Dornin’s proposal for 28 artist work/live units to be built in the Canyon, down slightly from the 30 units originally planned, but nevertheless a significant victory for the artist and the developer.

Longi has been working on creating affordable live/work spaces for artists close to ten years.

Click on photo for a larger image

Proposed location of work/live units

Late last year, Orange County Superior Court Judge Kim Dunning had ordered the commission to rehear the matter, revoking a coastal development permit the panel granted in 2015. Hence Wednesday’s hearing. 

“I feel vindicated that after two Coastal Commission hearings, we’ve essentially received 19 votes for and none against the project,” Longi said, referencing the earlier CCC vote which came in at 10 – 0. “Bear in mind that this is not an easy group to convince because they are extremely focused on environmental issues. So people can feel sure that we’ve done our homework.”

During the hearing, Longi notes, one of the commissioners said that she applauded this project and felt it could be a model for other communities.

“That was good to hear, but I wasn’t surprised at the result [of the vote] because we’ve just let facts rise to the top, we’ve done our due diligence, and we haven’t let negativity about the project affect us. This is so great, so exciting for artists and for the community. Finally we can go ahead with planning for studios for our artists, something we’ve wanted for so long. It’s no longer a pipe dream,” Longi added.

Next steps include making sure that the changes to the project meet with local Laguna permits – “But soon we’ll be able to hit the ground running,” Longi says.

The project proposes two structures on 0.84 acres of land at 20412 and 20432 Laguna Canyon Road just north of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, linked by a common deck. Units will vary in size from 500 square feet to one that will be three times that size. Eight will be reserved for low-income tenants.

Full moon will throw a spotlight on the Ocean Awareness Challenge event this Nov: Save the date

Last year, the non-profit Ocean Awareness Challenge event raised enough money to send 63 underserved youth to a three-day marine science camp on Catalina Island. 

This year’s event, packed with fun and chatter, along with information about the state of our oceans, will be held on Saturday, November 4 from 2:30 - 9:30 p.m. at the newly remodeled grounds of the Festival of Arts. 

All proceeds raised will once again be used to fund scholarships to send underserved youth to a three-day camp at Mountain and Sea Adventures in Emerald Bay on Catalina Island, where they will learn about the importance of ocean stewardship and have the opportunity to snorkel, swim and kayak. 

Lucky campers will also attend classes and labs where they’ll learn about plastics and pollution, fish, vertebrates/invertebrates, turtles and birds, and the natural history of Catalina Island.

Submitted photo

Students from Washington Steam Junior High from Pasadena enjoyed their amazing marine science experience in 2016

The theme for this year’s Ocean Awareness Challenge event is Marine Parks, Sharks and Prey. 

“We all know our ocean has been facing some very critical issues on a number of fronts. Overfishing, slaughtering of sharks, ocean acidification, dying coral reefs, ocean dead zones, mercury pollution, a swirling soup of plastic called the “Garbage Patch”, climate change and geo-engineering to name just a few,” notes founder Susie Campbell.

“Very few people talk about the disastrous state of our ocean and its desperate need for urgent attention, care and healing. The ocean is a gift to us, an inheritance for our children and future generations, and a life support system for our planet. Without a healthy ocean we will not be able to survive! And without being good stewards of this precious gift, we have nothing to leave our children.”

Submitted photo

Emerald Bay, Catalina Island, where the marine science camp is held

Organizers hope for a big crowd at the event, with several top marine scientists offering fascinating presentations about current “hot” topics sure to capture the interest, touch the hearts and challenge the minds of attendees. 

The presentations will be followed by Happy Hour and dinner, accompanied by music from Laguna Beach’s own Steve and Beth Woods. 

Also, many of the songs heard in the after-dinner showing of the IMAX movie “Humpback Whales” – which, breathtakingly, will take place beneath a full November moon – were composed and performed by Steve Woods.

A fifth grader from Top of the World will give a TED talk, and a Girl Scout troop has volunteered to help with hospitality.

Submitted photo

Cindy Hartman, an OAC volunteer from Laguna Beach, high fives Ivan Haris, a teacher from Washington Steam Magnet Academy in Pasadena

“Now is the time, like never before, to give back to this planet and her ocean that we love so much,” Campbell urges on the OAC website. “We have been working very hard at creating an event that will bring ocean-loving people together to make a change!

“From the Bluebelt Foundation to Mrs. Campbell’s fifth grade class at TOW, the environmental ocean non-profit organizations in California are impressive. We are all contributors to the restoration of our ocean,” Campbell adds. “We are the stewards that will bring healing to our planet, and we are the communities that can pave the way for others to follow.

“Let this annual event at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach be a place where we all come together to learn and be inspired by each other and by some of the very best marine scientists in the world.”

Registration for the event is now open at www.oceanawarenesschallenge.org 

The Ocean Awareness Challenge is fiscally sponsored by OneOC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The OAC’s mission is to educate and inspire youth and adults to be world changers in the challenge to heal and protect our oceans.

Get ready for a night out to see Chinatown on Thurs Aug 17 at the Laguna Art Museum 

On Thurs Aug 17, the Laguna Art Museum will be showing the movie Chinatown at 7 p.m. Recommendations include buying advance tickets to reserve early seating. For purchase or other questions, log onto www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

Chinatown is an American neo-noir mystery, part mystery, and part psychological drama, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jack Nicholson. It is preserved under the U.S. National Film Registry as one of the greatest films of all time.

This movie is a classic, and will be remembered for years to come.

Dennis’ Tidbits


August 11, 2017

August of 72 was swell because of Diane, Estelle, Fernanda and Gwen – and that’s just the half of it

The clock is ticking away as our south swell machine remains dormant so it’s time to turn the clock back to August of 1972, undeniably the best south swell August ever and the weather also received an A+, compliments of Senor El Nino.

August of ’72 set a record for the number of Eastern Pacific Hurricanes, cranking out a total of seven systems, all of which reached hurricane status with three of those attaining major hurricane status (Category 3 or higher with sustained winds of at least 111 mph).

Each and every storm delivered waves to Laguna and surrounding areas. All systems were already hurricanes when they entered our swell window and every single one of ‘em moved to the NW or NNW, the ideal setup.

The month opened up with a clean 3-6 ft. SSE push from Category 1 hurricane Diane with near perfect conditions as we were in the midst of a tropical heat wave as air temps at the water’s edge were in the mid 80’s with balmy ocean temps at 73 degrees. Just over the hill temps were in the mid to upper 90’s. Glassy conditions prevailed most of the day as well and the nice swell lasted for three days with similar conditions. 

Right on the heels of Diane, Category 2 hurricane Estelle set us up with a beautiful 4-6 ft. severe angle SSE swell with great conditions for her three day stay, so the first six days of the month were nearly ideal.

Things slacked off for a couple of days but on the morning of the 9th, we awoke to a brand new south swell from Category 2 hurricane Fernanda. I might note here that back in ’72 the National Hurricane Center was still using all ladies’ names for tropical systems Alternate boy girl names began in 1978 and that system remains to this day.

The water temp on the 11th was all the way up to 74 and there was a terrific thunderstorm that afternoon as dew points shot up to 74 degrees, almost unheard of in these parts. Brooks Street was epic with occasional Second Reefers showing. Are we on a roll or what?

As the waves were fading from Fernanda, BANG! A strong Southern Hemisphere swell arrives with gusto on the 12th. If that wasn’t enough, a brand new pulse from Category 3 hurricane Gwen starts to show late that afternoon. Once again there was another thunderstorm that evening making it consecutive days with intense convective activity. That’s really rare around here. It’s also a rare event when a Baja swell merges with a long period Southern Hemi so things got real interesting. 

All the while, the weather was perfect with no marine layer, air temps in the low 80’s and water temps in the low 70’s with minimal wind and we’re only halfway through the friggin’ month and we’ve already had enough surf to fill four or five Augusts! It is just one of those once in a lifetime summers when you hope you’re not working! 

We’ll cover the second half of this incredible August next time. Just one reminder… Never take living in Laguna for granted. I know I never will, and those who know me know what I mean! 



Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Dianne Russell, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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