What’s better than food, community, and a little March Madness? Maybe the unveiling of a newly refurbished basketball court thrown in the mix?

On April 4th, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse gave back to the local Southern California community, celebrating the love of basketball by revitalizing Portola Park’s public basketball court and featuring a vibrant, large-scale original mural for all to enjoy.

Inspired by the excitement around March Madness and to foster creativity and community participation in its own backyard, BJ’s partnered with non-profit Project Backboard and the Santa Ana Parks & Recreation team to fully refurbish the existing basketball court with new blacktop, nets, and backboards. Complete with an unveiling ceremony and city all-star game to a slam dunk exhibition, and a Santa Ana girls youth basketball practice, fans had a  a game day they will never forget!

Included at the event were BJ’s signature dishes, including their world-famous Pizookies®, giveaways and shooting hoops with free BJ’s branded basketballs. Local OC community members enjoyed special performances by the LA Clippers Dunk Team, mingled with athletes from the Special Olympics Southern California Chapter, ate delicious BJ’s signatures, and embraced the local community through a city all-star game and a Santa Ana girl’s youth basketball practice!

“BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is all about giving our guests a memorable, magical experience,” said Heidi Rogers, Senior Vice President of Marketing at BJ’s Restaurants, Inc.® “This March Madness season, we are excited to bring that same passion and love of sports to our local community by creating an inspiring, inclusive community hub for locals to enjoy for years to come.”

About BJ’s Restaurants, Inc.

BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (“BJ’s”)® is a national brand with brewhouse roots where craft matters. BJ’s broad menu has something for everyone: slow-roasted entrees, like prime rib, BJ’s EnLIGHTened Entrees® including Cherry Chipotle Glazed Salmon, signature deep-dish pizza and the often imitated, but never replicated world-famous Pizookie® dessert. BJ’s has been a pioneer in the craft brewing world since 1996 and takes pride in serving BJ’s award-winning handcrafted beers, brewed at its brewing operations in four states and by independent third-party craft brewers. The BJ’s experience offers high-quality ingredients, bold flavors, moderate prices, sincere service, and a cool, contemporary atmosphere. Founded in 1978, BJ’s owns and operates over 200 casual dining restaurants in 30 states. All restaurants offer dine in, take out, delivery, and large-party catering. For more information on BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, visit http://www.bjsrestaurants.com.

About Project Backboard

Project Backboard is a 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 2015, whose mission is to renovate public basketball courts and install large scale works of site-specific art on the surface in order to strengthen communities, improve park safety, encourage multi-generational play, and inspire people to think more critically and creatively about their environment. For more information on Project Backboard, visit projectbackboard.org.

About Santa Ana

Santa Ana is downtown for the world-famous Orange County, California. It is the County Seat, the second-most populous city in Orange County, and is home to a vibrant evening scene and arts community. Over 1,400 City employees work hard every day to deliver efficient public services in partnership with our community to ensure public safety, a prosperous economic environment, opportunities for our youth, and a high quality of life for residents. Learn more at www.santa-ana.org.