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Late founder of Bistango and Bayside restaurants honored by Irvine

John Ghoukassian was honored Tuesday by the City of Irvine, which gave the late restaurateur its Distinguished Citizen Award. Ghoukassian, who died in March 2021, opened Bistango in Los Angeles in 1984, moving it to Irvine in 1987. He also launched Bayside in 1999.

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The City Council established the award and the Wall of Recognition located at the Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park in 2006. The Wall of Recognition program recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the city of Irvine.

“Our dad is watching over us right now and we know he is very proud of his Distinguished Citizen award at the Wall of Recognition. He must be smiling at us,” said Ghoukassian’s daughter Karyn. “From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank the City of Irvine for recognizing John’s accomplishments and for honoring him by placing his name on the Wall of Recognition at the Col. Bill Barber Memorial Park for all to see. We are very grateful on John’s behalf. His avant-garde vision has changed the way Irvine residents have felt about living in Irvine and we hope to continue his legacy.”

Karyn Ghoukassian and her brother Marc opened Press & Moka, a European-style coffee shop, in Irvine earlier this month.

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