Best venues for an SCV business lunch

Chef Daniel Otto checks on customers at Old Town Junction. Old Town Junction makes the list of great spots for a business lunch because of its decor, location and impressive selection of dishes.

Business lunches are the time to impress your fellow colleagues and business partners, so picking the perfect lunch spot is crucial for creating the best experience for you and your guests. Choosing a place with a diverse menu, business-friendly atmosphere and a good reputation all matter when choosing the lunch spot.

Holly Schroeder, president and CEO of SCV Economic Development Corp., suggests choosing a place that has a good variety of foods on the menu so everyone can find something they like. Schroeder strives for quality and impressive dishes when choosing an establishment. In addition, Schroeder loves when restaurants create a non-disruptive environment.

“The place should feel busy, but not overwhelming,” said Schroeder. “I want to be able to have a private conversation and not have to compete over loud music.”

Choosing a place that is not too busy, will matter when it comes to service. Though waiters may not purposely ignore you, there are times especially during rush hour that may leave your table without service for periods of time. These are factors to consider when choosing a time for your lunch.

When John Musella, president and chief strategist for The Musella Group, goes to business lunches he looks for a spot where he can easily conduct business. It’s important to pick a good spot because both parties are taking time out of their day to meetup.

“Picking a place that is convenient to myself and the person I am hosting is very important,” said Musella. He also advises, getting an appetizer the table can share and, more importantly, getting a meal that isn’t messy.

Among Schroeder and Musella’s advise, they both suggest picking a place with a moderate noise level and quick service. Below are some of their favorite lunch spots along with additional spots:

Salt Creek Grille, due to its location, menu and ambience inside and out, also made the list of best spots for a business lunch.

Salt Creek Grill

Salt Creek Grille is located right next to the Westfield Valencia Town Center and Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Center. They have seating both inside and outside, so depending on the weather, either could be a good choice for the occasion. Share some Baked Goat Cheese Marinara or Lobster & Shrimp Bisque, the options are endless. It’s interior is sleek and spacious allowing customers the chance to engage in their own conversations without being interrupted.

“Since the beginning, we have strived for consistency so our customers know what to expect every time they come in and that is quality,” said Greg Amsler, owner of Salt Creek Grille. “We try to make the environment as professional and friendly as possible.”

Old Town Junction

Old Town Junction is a quiet, yet lively spot with excellent service. Their menu includes “animal-friendly” options for vegetarians, and other impressive dishes like Chilean sea bass. It is in the heart of Newhall and a fan-favorite to many. Inside, their interior elements are rustic, yet refined with accents of American Vintage Charm and Contemporary Decor, according to their website. Old Town Junction creates a warm and inviting atmosphere which is ideal in a business lunch.

“Our establishment is amazing for business lunches because we have gorgeous decor, a private setting, great food, and technology available for you to be able to host a business lunch,” said Daniel Otto, owner and executive chef at Old Town Junction.

Backwoods Inn

Backwoods Inn has been serving customers since 1968 and proclaim that they are the place where locals eat. Eating here will give anyone from out of town a taste of Santa Clarita. Steak and stuffed potatoes are a popular dishes here and are available all day. It is right next to a Super 8 and minutes from Highway 14. This spot creates a professional lunch setting, which is good for conducting business.

“We have the best food and prices, and we’ve been doing it for over 51 years,” said Carol Ohler, owner of Backwoods Inn.

Margaritas Mexican Grill 

A lunch at Margaritas Mexican Grill will not only ease a craving for traditional Mexican food, but it’ll also radiate the old-fashioned feel many establishments do not have anymore. They strive to include fresh ingredients in their food and claim that their customer service is consistently fast. It is located near the Castaic junction, alongside Interstate 5, so there is quick freeway access.

Rustic Burger

Rustic Burger has a very trendy ambience with chalk boards and an array of protein and toppings for burgers, including vegetarian options. They also have a good selection of desserts that could be the perfect treat after a business lunch.

It’s located in Valencia, which is a good central meeting point for many businesses. This is the perfect place to have a more casual lunch, if the occasion calls for it.

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