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Poul’s Bakery is known for its gourmet cookies, strudels, danishes and Swedish princess cakes. (Courtesy Poul’s)
  • Kibbeh at Aleppo’s comes fried (shown), baked or grilled. The meatball style item is shell stuffed with ground beef , spices and onion.(Courtesy Aleppo’s)

Restaurant rebrands again

Perhaps the third time will be the charm for this Huntington Beach restaurant. The operators behind Wokcano have yet again rebranded their restaurant at 7311 Edinger Ave. Earlier this year, the Monterey Park-based restaurant company replaced Wokcano with 3rd Generation. The latter brand is a full-service ramen, sushi and yakitori restaurant.

But after only a few months in operation, the location was rebranded again. It is now called Big Catch Seafood House.

The menu features oysters, grilled seafood, sushi rolls, and seafood pasta dishes.

Parent company Zao Brands, formerly M2K Group, operates most of its brands in the Los Angeles area — from Woodland Hills to Long Beach. This is its first Big Catch Seafood in Orange County. Others are in Brentwood, Alhambra, Ontario and Long Beach.

Besides Wokcano and 3rd Generation, the company also operates the Le Ka Restaurant, The Backhouse, EMC Seafood & Raw Bar. EMC Seafood has a location in Irvine, while Backhouse operates in Huntington Beach. Wokcano, a modern take on Asian cuisines, has other Orange County locations in Santa Ana and Tustin.

Bakery relocates to Tustin

Poul’s Bakery, a fixture in Orange for 62 years, has closed.

The Danish bakery is relocating to Tustin later this fall. The move is bittersweet, but necessary after Poul’s was unable to negotiate renewal of its lease, owner Ayliz Guclu said. The bakery, known for its gourmet cookies, strudels, danishes and Swedish princess cakes, has operated on Tustin Street since 1960.

The first bakery was founded by Poul Johansen in 1955 in Old Towne. The Danish-born baker opened a second Poul’s on East Chapman Avenue.

When he opened the Tustin Street location, he closed the other shops and consolidated operations on the busy street, a key thoroughfare in Orange. After he retired in 1975, Johansen sold his bakery to fellow Dane Fred Hyde who operated the store for more than 30 years. About five years after Hyde passed away, Guclu said employees kept the bakery going before closing it in 2011.

Guclu, who’s been in the hospitality business since 2007, bought the bakery from the previous owners along with the original recipes. She reopened it in 2012.

In a 2012 interview, she said she had never set foot into the bakery until after it closed. The former manager of an Irvine restaurant, she had a dream of launching her own business.

She was set to open a store in Aliso Viejo when she came across a “for sale” ad for Poul’s equipment. Guclu became fascinated with Poul’s history.

“People were sad. They were devastated it closed,” Guclu told the Register in 2012. The more she read, the more determined she became to forget the South County location and do something really unexpected. She secured the Poul’s name and its recipes.

She said she brought back many of the classic specialties that disappeared from the bakery case after Hyde passed away including the famed Swedish princess cake, Angel cookies, and cheese breads.

Even though the Tustin location is half the size of the Orange shop, Guclu said Poul’s fans can expect the same assortment of Danish goods.

Once construction starts, she hopes to open by the fall. The new bakery will be at 13771 Newport Ave. It’s in the same center as Souplantation and Kean Coffee.

Syrian food coming to Anaheim

The family-owned Aleppo’s Kitchen in Anaheim is opening a second outlet later this month at the Anaheim Packing House. The flagship Aleppo’s, which specializes in Syrian cuisine, opened four years at 513 1/2 S. Brookhurst St. Marketing representative Sammy Hajomar, whose father founded the restaurant, said the packing house food stand will be called Mangal by Aleppo’s.

It will sell the most popular items available at the original restaurant such as grilled kebobs, falafel sandwiches, tabouli, beef and chicken shawarma, and kibbeh.

Hajomar said the food hall eatery will likely open by the end of August. It is taking the place of the closed Cafecito Organico, an original tenant at the food hall.

Ameci Italian Kitchen in Yorba Linda recently closed. According to the corporate office in Canoga Park, the location was sold to another operator. The franchisee told locals on a Facebook community page that his family has run the Ameci in Yorba Linda for 20 years. They sold it so they could focus on their Manhattan Beach restaurant, according to…