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.