Saturday, November 22, 2008

Any Reason is a good reason to come into the 101 Cafe

Since the 101 Cafe opened in 1928 people have stopped in for more reasons than we can count. About the time you think you seen it all some Else comes in for a new reason or using a new mode of transportation. I thought I'd share some images of folks and their rides at the Cafe.

Thanksgiving Day Meal is HOW much?

It may occur to you that we have reached a place in time that people are giving more thought to their daily budget than ever before.

That may not be true or at least some restaurants here in San Diego North are hoping its not.Much to surprise I spotted an ad in that touted a Thanksgiving day offerings for only $ 47.50 adults and $ 22.95 for children under 12 at a public golf course in Carlsbad. OK, if it was the Lodge at Torrey Pines I would not of have blinked, but, come on now. I did some checking to see if it was a little let's say aggressive so below are some offerings on Thanksgiving Day:

Adults and Kids prices;

Aviara $ 85 $ 42.50

La Costa $ 58 $ 27

The Crossing $ 47.50 $ 22.95

El Camino Counrty Club $ 31.99 $ 11.99

Mimi's $ 14.99 $ 6.99

It is commonly known the first three have Chef's of known reputation.

For three years now served a full Holiday Turkey dinner including everything for just $ 9.99 from now until January1.

We have been in the business of providing meals for over twenty years and now does not compare to anytime before when it comes to our business. So I may have just given you your choices for where to eat this Turkey day, but I hope it at least gives you cause for thought.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Comfort Food for our times

It is the perfect time to discover why Comfort Food appeals to us. Some people do no like the definition of Comfort Food; food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal, Merriam Webster Dictionary online Dictionary, Food that is simply prepared and associated with a sense of home or contentment,,but it is clear that many people seek this type of food when facing uncertainty and trying times.

Trying times defines our now.

I have observed over the last twenty years that people often times come to the 101 Cafe after the death of a family member or a friend. This is probably the one event that made me think about people coming into the Cafe to seek comfort. Taking it to an extreme 911 brought thousands in seeking the solace, contentment and comfort for months afterwards. I felt a little guilty about our crowds when other businesses were challenged by the huge disruption brought about by terrorist

Comfort Food has accounted for a substantial number of our guest. It is clear that nostalgia is a big draw and over the years people have come back to see the Cafe. We get guest who's parents have brought them from the North on their way to San Diego from as early the 1920's and every decade since. We get veterans from the military who have come here since we've opened in 1928. We get returning Marines from Iraqi seeking the foods they have missed and the smiles from our staff. It is great to see the returning vacationers from all around the world bring family and friends to see the Cafe that they so love.

What ever you call it these foods help form an attraction to a place like the 101 Cafe we hope will never end.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Season Change in Oceanside

I like all the seasons, but I must admit I enjoy the change we make here in Oceanside as August ends and September begins. We have many humid days in June, July and August and our temperature only varies about eight or nine degrees. I like cool mornings and evenings and warm days and wait patiently for our September change into dry warm days with the cool evenings and mornings. OK we do get Santa Anas from now until whenever, but day in and day out this is our Best Beach weather. I think this month we started the change later than some and it felt like the change is imminent. I felt it as I rode my Schwinn cruiser along The Strand this morning. Today the skies cleared by mid-morning and Hot has returned. Lets hope the humidity leaves us soon.

Another sign of this change is the Woodies that cruise South along Highway 101 to Wavecrest in Encinitas where hundreds of these wooded wheeled Beach icons come to celebrate California's' Beach and Car culture. It is hard to describe how many different and totally unique vehicles are to be seen. A must see California original

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Surf Monkey Swimming Running & Paddle Boarding

I guess I should of looked at the Special Events Calendar the City has, but I didn't so I was surprised to see the crowds at the Pier this morning. I was told it some surfmonkey thing? The Xterra WetSuits' SurfMonkey is a collection of events that has something for every endurance sports monkey. They say that "Only the chosen elite will ever consider that they might, one day, touch the monkey." It was way cool to see the different athletes compete in these three events and the combos including the 3 Event Stage Race combining the Run, Swim & Paddleboard Race to crown the King & Queen Monkey! Includes entry in the 5km run, the 1mi swim, and the 8mi paddleboard race. How cool .

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Close yet so far away

A couple of months ago the city posted that the bridge crossing the San Luis Rey River into the Harbor would be done in June 2008. If you have checked lately you will see that there is still plenty of work to do. Regardless of all the finger pointing we will have to wait till it done before we can resume our complete cruise of Oceanside's coastline. No matter how you do it cruising has been a sport that began with the first wheeled vehicles that showed up. I certainly am guilty of doing it and I now walk, ride and drive Pacific Street, The Strand and Harbor Drive for fun at least once a day if I am in town.
Thanks to anyone who helped this bridge become a reality.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Eats & Brews in Oceanside

If you are like me you get a little excited about a new eating and or drinking place in our community. We have watched two new places with some patience, but come on now open.

Harney Sushi has opened in Oceanside at the corner of Mission Avenue and Cleveland Street Downtown. Check out there web site and you'll see this is not you traditional sushi place. I think it is going to be a very popular place for sushi, music and entertainment.

The Breakwater Brewery at Coast Highway and Seagaze is scheduled to open this weekend. Looking inside it promises to be a hip brew pub with some good eats. Their website is not up yet, but look for it soon. Easy parking for both new places, park in the lots on Cleveland Street for easy access.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sand Challenge 2008

Since the late 1920's Oceanside has been blessed with The Strand. During that period of time it has let us document how wide our beaches have been. Now in July of 2008 we can see the past reoccurring as it does often times. I put a number if images up show you back in the 60's when the surf lapped on the Northern most portion of The Strand. It has happened in the late seventies and to some degree about every ten years.
The Federal Government has taken responsibility for clearing our harbor channel since the 1960's and has dredged millions of cubic yards of sand directly onto our beaches usually between the Pier and Wisconsin Street. Dredging this year made a noticeable improvement in the area South of the Pier and short of Wisconsin Street and almost ever bit of the material has now gone into the surf line, under water. Today's photos show that the surf broke on The Strand and deposited sand. This is an ominous sign for our future. It shows we are not replacing enough sand in order to protect The Stand and homes next to it. This erosion is predictable and if action is taken quickly we can avoid all of the dire consequences. I hope our City officials are doing everything they can to keep this from happening. If you question this just ask anyone who has been here for more than thirty years.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

How to tell our Story at the 101 Cafe

Early on I learned that in order to get exposure for a retail business it was important to seek help in the media through PR. It doesn't take long to learn that when you attach the term PR to media you have found a no cost way of exposing your business, group or community. I attached a few photos that were in International, regional and local magazines or calendars and did not attempt to list all of them. I found it very help full to offer the media some trade offs in order to get what some think is my unfair exposure. I am a third generation Oceansider who is well versed in local history, business and politics so I have much to offer and it helps believe me. I have used my self taught skills in PR for all the projects I have taken on in our community. I am proud of my 'Shameless Self Promoter' moniker because I really promote my business, my non profit groups and my community which makes it a lot less self-centered than it sounds. Maybe one of these days I'll figure out how to put a few of my TV appearances online. It will probably take the help of a twelve year old to do it. Part of my drive is to keep the 101 Cafe going for its second eighty years. You may have noticed it is the oldest business in Oceanside and the oldest Cafe on Highway 101 on the entire West Coast. Oops there I go promoting again. Stay Cool.

Friday, June 20, 2008


When I read that Dorothy Satten had died I remember a photo in the Oceanside Historical Society's archives. It was donated years ago by Randy Mitchell and was of the Opening of the New Bridge Motor Inn on Highway 101 in Oceanside. The 1965 image included one of my classmates at Oceanside High School Barbara Mandrell . Barbara was Miss Oceanside in 1965 and as most of us know she was a Country Mega Star. From left to right in the photo are; Jerome Jones, City Councilman and eventually Mayor, Dorothy Satten, Barbara Mandrell, her husband Frank Satten and Harold Andrews, the builder.
The Bridge still stands, but is being planned for a multi-storied hotel in the future. Until then you can still eat at Dorothy's restaurant, the Flying Bridge. While she has not owned it for many years most of the old timers think of her when they think of the restaurant.
I wish I could tell you more about Dorothy, but I never even met her, my loss.
One of the best parts of staying in your community like I have is all the memories that surround you. I am a lucky guy.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What an Incredible Day

I could not get enough when I walked this morning. Even cruising on Oceanside Blvd. on the way to work the Moon showcased what an incredible day it would be. So clear even after yesterday where the overcast cooled the sun in the afternoon. I hopped on my beach cruiser and headed down Wisconsin Street from the 101. I get an ocean view as soon as I look West and cruise down to The Strand. The first picture is of my beach at the bottom of my hill. Since this was late most of our regular surfers had already gone to work so few got to enjoy this days waves. I found only a few enjoying Swings at the Pier, picture two. It is always cool to see the Moms and their three wheelers exercising along The Strand, but it warms my heart to see Dads, picture three. I guess I am jealous of them since the only three wheelers around when my kids were small were either motorcycles of old folks bikes. And of course there were many fishermen at the beach today. Today is going to be tough to stay at work.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Warm Summer Days are upon Us

The beach is filling up with visitors. More each day and its the June Gloom month wait until the real heat begins. Everything tells us that this will be a great visitor season for our guest. It is the time to check out the suits along the Famous Strand where Tom Cruise rode his motorcycle up to the now highly recognized Top Gun House on Pacific Street. Don't forget sunscreen.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Woodies find their way to the 101 Cafe

Woodies at the Cafe are not an unusual sight, but it is always exciting for our guest to see them. These reject station wagons of days gone by have found a place in the visual landscape of the California Surf Culture and have made their owner's the elite of the road. The surf connection was strongest in the fifties and sixties when surfers used these inexpensive used wagons to haul their long boards. Bruce Brown's epic Surf Movies including 'The Endless Summer' emblazoned the wood sided cars as a surf vehicles in our minds. Now wherever they cruise they are noticed in a big way. The 101 Cafe has been a part of the Woodie's heritage since 1928 when the Model A was massed produced. From the beginning, these were specialty vehicles used for many reasons including hauling guest from trains and to resorts. Maybe you will see or bring a Woodie to the Cafe and make us happy.

We are blessed to have the Greatest Woodie Show in the country just off the Historic Highway 101 in Encinitas, Wavecrest . Make a point to check out the coolest cars on the Coast September 20th. If you check them all out you may get 'Wood Burn'.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Blessing or Curse at the 101 Cafe

The 101 Cafe is 80 years old this year. It is not hard to imagine that it must have been painted maybe 15 or twenty times in its life on the 101. For the last twenty years we have either painted or touch up every year for the twenty years David and I have owned it. In the beginning we hired or traded food for painting, but in the last ten I have been mainly responsible for the bright white walls surrounding the Cafe. I have come to learn that no matter what season I paint the sun will come out and beat down on me. Today is a perfect example. This morning was the beginning of the perfect(yuk) June gloom day. After yesterday's gloom which included light showers and drizzle I never even gave a thought to today being a Hot Sunny Day. I guess you can thank me for the sun, because if I choose not to paint the gloom probably would have continued all day. I guess the San Diego Chamber of Commerce will hope I paint all week so the US Open at Torrey Pines will have the 'Perfect Chamber of Commerce Weather'. Call me if you need sun at least along the 101. Check out the perfect blue sky and surf right down the street from the Cafe

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

US open in San Diego at Torrey Pines

For the first time ever the US Open will be played on a public golf course, yes only in San Diego. Torrey Pines was built in 1957 and has hosted many Professional events including the Buick Invitational. It is over sixty years ago that the open was even played in California. Tens of thousands are expected to follow the players around the course along the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean. The Open is being played along the Historic US Highway 101 and next to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve where the rare Torrey Pine tree flourishes. Speculation is that this years open is Tiger Woods to lose. It will be his first tournament since his surgery. Clearly this will be great for San Diego North.

Monday, June 9, 2008

101 Cafe Old, but New

In 1928 the Ekegren family opened a small twenty seat cafe along the new US Highway 101 in Oceanside, California and named it the 101 Cafe. Little did they know that it would survive through a depression, World War, many other Military confrontations to become the oldest Cafe on the Historic Highway 101 on the entire West Coast. The 101 was bypassed to the present location of the present day Interstate 5 in 1953.
Many of the traditions presented by previous owners are carried on today. The Cafe was last remodeled in 1954 and we strive to keep the look which was then Graham's Drive-In the same as then. The booth and counter seating remains and while the old jukebox has worn out many times we play XM Radio's oldies music all day.
You can imagine how many of the items on our menu are drawn from menus of days goneby. Our burgers and breakfast menu is steeped in the past while we have add healthy choices for today's world. Hand-packed milk-shakes put smiles on our guest faces and the classic beer battered onion rings are the absolute best we can offer.
Many of the items on our menu have been donated by cooks from another time, they will be honored by the smiles on your face while enjoying their food.
We hope all will enjoy our classic Cafe, the food and the service we put forward for everyday.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Summer is here early in Oceanside California

It may only be June 7, but the beach is where to be. Mid 70's and beautiful blue sky and cool water make the beach the number one hangout. Swimming, surfing, building sand castles are only some of the activities to partake in. Go down and check for yourself if you question wether its really Beach Time.

It's Here the Race Across America Starts Tomorrow

"The gateway to San Diego, Oceanside is the classic California beach community with its warm sandy beaches, scenic wooden pier and Cape Cod-style harbor village complete with unlimited water sports and recreation. Its central location provides the perfect launching point for your Southern California getaway."
This quote is from the Race Across America website. This race has been starting for years on the beach below the Pier in Oceanside and continues to be one the best long distant race in North America. Come down to the beach and check out the athletes and their bikes. Also cheer them on to this great race. The Solos start 12:00pm (PDT) Sunday June 8th, 2008. The Teams start 2:00pm (PDT) Wednesday June 11th, 2008.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Visitor from the Past

It is a very good day when I get contacted by someone about the past. I was contacted by Mary Ellen Jones who taught third grade at Ditmar school in 1957. Of course it was my shy partner David who referred her to me in the first place. It was great to meet Miss Johnson as she was known by her class then. She was hoping to put together a reunion of this particular class since she only taught that year before she left for awhile. This of course is timely since Ditmar will close this year as an elementary school. The District says it will keep the site for a educational purpose more suitable for its size and location. Miss Jones is hoping to get everyone together later this month. It will be trip to see what these cute third graders look like now.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Race Across America

"The gateway to San Diego, Oceanside is the classic California beach community with its warm sandy beaches, scenic wooden pier and Cape Cod-style harbor village complete with unlimited water sports and recreation. Its central location provides the perfect launching point for your Southern California getaway."
This quote is from the Race Across America website. This race has been starting for years on the beach below the Pier in Oceanside and continues to be one the best long distant race in North America. Come down to the beach and check out the athletes and their bikes. Also cheer them on to this great race. The Solos start 12:00pm (PDT) Sunday June 8th, 2008. The Teams start 2:00pm (PDT) Wednesday June 11th, 2008.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Operation Appreciation 2008

Operation Appreciation is one of the Events that the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce began many years ago to let the Military Personnel and their families how much we appreciate their service to our Country. Over ten thousand attended last years event. The posted photos are before they are expected to come to the beach. great free food, entertainment and carnival rides will make this a remarkable day for all who attend. God Bless our Military.

State Championship Interscholastic Surfing Federation Oceanside

May 17 18 is the home to the State Championships for the Interscholastic Surfing Federation at South Harbor Jetty in Oceanside CA. What a great day for these kids to determine the Statewide Championship Series. The CSF California Surf Series-#8 Championships is schedule May 31st at the Oceanside Pier begins at 6:30 AM. Surfs Up!!!!!

Paddle Surfing Makes it Debut in Oceanside

Before 9:00 AM this morning over twenty adventurers left Wisconsin Beach in Oceanside to start what will undoubtedly be the beginning of a huge sport along our local shores. These fearless watermen will swim and paddle their way to Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, approximately 12 miles before they finish. Covered by the local press North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune as well as Fox Channel 6. About fifty supporters and passer-bys enjoyed the start while soaking up the beautiful sunshine predicted to reach 90 degrees today. If this is global warming then I love it.