Mailboxes of Oceanside celebrates thirty years of service to Downtown Oceanside past 12 years, having taken it over from his mom, Helen. But he actually started working there earlier, as a teenager when Helen Ludwiczak bought the business in 1987 from the Alexanders. She timed the acquisition to coincide with her youngest son’s high school graduation. The family is from Hacienda Heights in Los Angeles County, and Helen Ludwiczak was in the real-estate business, her son said, but ”her dream was to own her own business and live by the beach.” She accomplished both, living near the shop until moving later to the Oceana development in Oceanside. However, Joey said, with two sisters at the shop, too, there was simply too much family togetherness, and he jumped ship for a while, working in construction. Joey Ludwiczak isn’t in competition with the Post Office across the street. Instead, he says, he and the P. O. feed off each other. Joey, the owner of Mailboxes of Oceanside, is planning its 30th anniversary. He’s not sure when in 1983 Bill and Carol Alexander first opened the doors of the business at Freeman Street and Seagaze Drive. So, he’s decided to start the anniversary celebration in January. Although the business has been open for three decades, he has owned it for only the
“Then, of course,” he said, “I’m the one who came back. ”Since becoming sole proprietor, Joey said, ”I’ve grown it (the business) a lot.” In his mother’s day, he said, there were 300 mailboxes to be rented to customers. Now, he said, there are 800. They cost $15, $20 or $25 a month, depending on size, and he gives boxholders a key to access the lobby at all times. “I’ve probably more than tripled the business she had,” Joey said of the shop in his mother’s time. “I have added a lot more services,” he said. Besides providing the mailboxes, the business packages and ships for United Parcel Service (UPS), FedEx and the Post Office and sells postage stamps and packing boxes, both utilitarian and decorative. It also offers rubber stamps, color copies and laminating. It cuts keys and sells key rings and magnets It sells calendars, greeting cards and post cards. It offers FAX service and use of a computer at a charge of 25 cents a minute. Ludwiczak also provides notarypublic services. He had a scare recently when there were rumors of the downtown Post Office’s closing.
Each of the three Post Office branches in Oceanside has a mailing operation like his, and they all do well complementing the government service, he said. For instance, on a recent day there were two big boxes in the office that had not been professionally packed or sealed – he’ll do that for his customers. And one came in saying the nearby Post Office wanted him to buy a whole roll of tape just to secure his package. Ludwiczak took care of it. Another customer added an “Oceanside California ” (bumper-style) sticker to his order, proclaiming the store sells “pretty cool stickers.” “Some people do not want to wait in line,” he said, explaining why they would come to him and not go to the Post Office. For the convenience, he sells stamps for a nickel more than face value. UPS and FedEX collect their packages from him. He walks the ones going to the Post Office across the street. He does not offer such postal services as certifying or registering mail. And, he said, “there’s no competition. We feed off each other. We send people back and forth all day.” Joey says he plans to display a big banner for the 30th anniversary. And he whispered after a regular customer had joked about wanting to acquire the business that “a lot of people want to buy it. It is not for sale.” Story and photos by Lola Sherman
Preserving, Promoting and Revitalizing Downtown Oceanside Since 2000 STAFF
Rick Wright Executive Director Kim Heim Special Projects Gumaro Escarcega Main Street Program Manager Kathy Hamman Office Manager Cathy Nykiel Sunset Market Manager Marni Rigger Vendor Liaison Beecher Young Crew Chief
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Roseanne Kiss, Chair North County Printers Sylvia Spiva Pier View Market Kirk Harrison Harney Sushi Tom LeBus Seaside Financial Services Max Disposti North County LGBTQ Resource Center Peter Loyola Succulent Cafe Forrest Heyden Asylum Surf and Skate
Howard LaGrange Visit Oceanside Tracey Bohlen City of Oceanside
MainStreet Oceanside 701 Mission Avenue Oceanside, California 92054 (760) 754-4512 email@example.com www.mainstreetoceanside.com
MainStreet Oceanside Sunset Market Oceanside
RESTAURANT Spotlight Diners take a walk on the wild side at Ty’s Burger House The menu at Ty’s Burger House in downtown Oceanside can be a bit on the wild side...literally. It includes buffalo, kangaroo, boar and elk. This summer, owner Scott Whitehead (the Ty in the restaurant’s name belongs to his son Tyler for whom it is named ), said on a recent visit, he may add alligator to the meats he puts on a burger bun.
their own burgers with a selection of meats, cheeses, sauces and toppings with addons like fried egg, bacon, grilled pineapple, avocado or haystack onions. Sides include regular fries, chili-cheese fries, sweet-potato fries and beer-battered onion rings. Whitehead also offers crab-cake sliders, pulled-pork and Philly-cheese-steak sandwiches and salads like pear and feta cheese, Caesar, Asian and Greek with a choice of homemade dressings. And there are several wraps as well. Weekly specials offer free fries on Mondays, $2 off on Tuesdays or a third-pound cheeseburger and a beer for $6.95 on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Ty’s serves both beer and wine. Whitehead, raised in Solana Beach, opened the restaurant two years ago in April after deciding he wanted a career change from being in the construction business.
I just started that two-three months ago, Whitehead said of the wild-game selection.
He started out thinking about opening a pizzeria.
The Marines like it, he said, because it reminds them of back home. where many have been hunters. He gets the meat from a supplier in Orange County, and sometimes, as with kangaroo recently, he runs out and must wait for the next delivery.
There also are outside tables in front and in back in a grassy patio area. The restaurant’s decor follows a surfing/maritime theme in its paintings, murals and television offerings.
Game burgers are prepared much like a more-conventional beefy offering. There is a sauce, sometimes a horseradishy one, and lettuce. The bun is like any other at Ty’s a thick , bready offering with a polished dome created by an egg wash. It took me a long time, to find the bun of his choice, Whitehead said. I finally found the right bakery. The bun just has a really good taste to me. Wild burgers come with salad or fries. For those not into meat domestic or wild Ty’s serves veggie burgers. It also features burgers with chicken or turkey. It spices them up with jalapeos, or patrons can build
Seating is provided for 35 people at regular tables and counters, some of which face the street. In summer, he said, the windows pull out so you can see what’s going on.
The first year was tough, Whitehead admits, but ever since then, he said, the numbers for each month have improved, and it’s all been word of mouth. We have not done any advertising.
Then he thought about Spanky’s, Santino’s, Carmine’s, Breakwater Brewery and all the places serving pizza in downtown Oceanside and decided he needed a different cuisine. I had to think of something else, he said, and I thought ‘this town does not have down-on-the-beach burgers. Let’s try that’. His location at 515 Mission Ave., just east of Coast Highway, is only a few blocks from the ocean. It formerly housed Kids Cottage, a children’s clothing store.
Ty’s Burger House is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Story by Lola Sherman Photos by Lola Sherman and Ty Whitehead
Display tells the story of Oceanside’s 125 year history
MainStreet Oceanside created a “History Canopy” to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the City of Oceanside. The canopy is on display each week at the Sunset Market and will be displayed at other city events such as Days of Art, Harbor Days and the Oceanside Chamber Business Expo.
Cal State San Marcos students prepare research study for Downtown Oceanside
A group of business students from Cal State San Marcos, along with their advisor, met with Rick Wright and Gumaro Escarcega recently to make final arrangements for the students’ senior project. The students will compile an inventory of all of the downtown businesses in the MainStreet Oceanside district. They will also conduct in-person interviews of a cross section of the businesses to determine how to increase and improve participation in the MainStreet program. The results of the project will be presented to MainStreet Oceanside during the first week of May. The project will also be presented at the Senior Experience Tradeshow at the Escondido Center for the Performing Arts in early May. The students working on the team are Mark Nachman, Chelsey Beeson, Jeremy Christopherson, Zachary McKinley and Connor Olson.
MainStreet collaborated with the Chamber of Commerce and the Oceanside Historical Society on the canopy which features 12 photos, 16 inches by 20 inches, on each of its three sides. Photographs span the eras from the turn of the 20th Century to today.
New businesses open in Downtown Rebel Rebel Hair Salon 403 Wisconsin Avenue #4
Hit the Spot Coffee 624 S. Coast Highway
10 Dollar Mall 1028 Mission Avenue
Car Gallery 502 S. Coast Highway
Pacific Choice Auto Registration 602 Mission Avenue
Beach Side Realty SD, Inc. 402 Wisconsin Avenue
Beauty 101 117 S. Coast Highway
Little Louie’s Gift Store Under New Ownership 312 Mission Avenue
Catalyst Massage 705 Pier View Way
Source: City of Oceanside Business License Division
Interested in helping to shape the future of Downtown Oceanside?
Be in the parade!
Join one of our four new committees, now in formation: • • • •
Design Economic Restructuring Promotion Organization
Contact Gumaro Escarcega for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org (760) 754-4512 x102
Download an application:
Saturday, June 29th
Tri City Medical Center presents Oceanside’s Independence Day Parade Please join us for the annual Independence Day Parade as it makes it way north on Coast Highway from Wisconsin Avenue to Civic Center Drive (just past City Hall). Come see floats, bands, walking groups, cool cars and much more. Our theme this year is “Celebrate Oceanside! Past - Present - Future”. The parade starts in front of the 101 Cafe (Coast Highway at Wisconsin Avenue) at 10:00 a.m. and works its way north with the first unit of the parade reaching City Hall around 10:15 a.m. Running time from beginning to end is about two hours. Viewing of the parade is available from the sidewalks along the entire route. Spectators are encouraged to bring folding chairs. The highest concentration of viewers will be on the north end of the route past Seagaze Avenue. For more information, please visit www.OceansideParade.com.
Wednesday, July 3rd
Oceanside’s 125th Anniversary Celebration Ceremony 11:00 a.m. This will be the official ceremony recognizing the 125th Anniversary of Oceanside’s cityhood. Gather at the Civic Center Complex at 300 North Coast Highway for presentation of the colors, proclamations and presentations, plus entertainment and refreshments.
125th Anniversary Fireworks 9:00 p.m. Look toward the center of the city at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3rd to watch a special fireworks show to celebrate Oceanside’s 125th Anniversary. More details will be made available on the City website as the date approaches. www.ci.oceanside.ca.us
Thursday, July 4th
Concert and Movie at the Amphitheater 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. We can’t reveal the name of the band just yet, but Oceanside Parks and Recreation and the Friends of Oceanside Parks are preparing a concert that will knock your socks off! As the sun sets over the bandshell, the movie Bring It On will be screened. Released in 2000, many of this movie’s climactic cheerleading competition scenes were filmed right in the very spot where the movie is being shown. www.OceansideRec.com
Star Spangled Sunset Market 2:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. By popular demand, MainStreet Oceanside’s popular weekly Sunset Market will fill the downtown streets on July 4th with the sounds of live music and delicious hot food from around the world. Over 140 vendors will be selling unique items from around the world. Dorothy’s KidZone will feature a variety of activities for the little ones. More information at www.SunsetMarket.com.
MainStreet Morning Mtg MainStreet Morning Meeting Notes: City says Mission Avenue Improvements Project on track million in a grant from the San Diego Association of Governments and $1.5 million in redevelopment tax income. “One of the first things,” Mertz said, will be to remove all the striping so that “one day the road will go in two directions, and the next morning, it will be one-way.” He explained that eastbound traffic will be diverted to two one-way lanes on Seagaze Drive. Wright promised the group that he would make the Mission Avenue Project brochure available for viewing online. The $3-million project to improve Mission Avenue, reduce the traffic lanes and turn it into a one-way street will begin in September and finish the following May, the monthly meeting of MainStreet Oceanside was told on March 5th. A larger-than-usual crowd of about fourdozen people attended the meeting and heard Nathan Mertz, a city capitalimprovements manager and John Helmer, Downtown Area Manager talk about Mission Avenue. Mertz said the plans call for access to businesses along Mission to be open at all times. The first phase of the project, Mertz said, will improve the roadway between Horne Street and Coast Highway. The plans, Mertz said, call for taking the current four lanes - two in each direction - and reducing them to just two lanes total westbound. Sidewalks will be widened, he said, varying in width from 5 to 30 feet. There will be improved lighting, signals and street trees, a new bicycle lane, decorative crosswalks and some street furniture, Mertz said. “I’m always concerned,” Rick Wright, MainStreet Oceanside Executive Director said, “about whether we’re ready for street furniture.” But Mertz said it will be more like tables and chairs, and there won’t be benches long enough for transients to sleep on. The number of transients in the area is expected to decrease if the soup kitchen at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church closes. Mertz said the project is receiving $1.5
In other business: --Gumaro Escarcega, new Main Street Programs Manager, told the group “this is the perfect opportunity to get involved,” and he handed out sign-up sheets for three committees: Promotion, Design and Economic Restructuring. He said the Promotion Committee will work on “an image for downtown,” the Design Committee will collaborate with the city, the Chamber of Commerce and Visit Oceanside to help businesses improve facades and add awnings and paint and “collaborate with the city to enforce design guidelines”, and the Economic Restructuring Committee will conduct a market analysis and inventory “to retain and recruit needed businesses.” Escarcega is still looking for individuals to serve on the committees. --Nick Gorski explained the advertising opportunities available in a new guide of Oceanside Harbor. --Howard LaGrange said the harbor would get more visiting boaters if it would allow slip reservations by phone using a credit card as do other marinas in Southern California, instead of requiring mailed or in-person reservations and a check. “It seems to me a slam dunk,” City Councilman Gary Felien said of LaGrange’s request.
such as parades and Harbor Days. “It’s really a big issue,” Wright said. --Cathy Nykiel, Sunset Market Manager, thanked Oceanside Photo and Telescope for presenting Astronomy Night at the market and local police, firefighters and lifeguards for Public Safety Night. Nykiel said 75 volunteers are needed for the annual Independence Day parade on June 29. The theme this year is “Celebrate Oceanside! Past, Present and Future.” --Wright announced that the new Hello Betty Fish House restaurant planned for the SpringHill Suites hotel under construction will present a sampling of its fish tacos from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 13 on Ditmar Street in the civic-center complex. Proceeds will benefit the Semper Fi Foundation. City Councilman Jerry Kern noted that at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oceanside Municipal Airport will be dedicated to the late Tuskegee Airman Bob Maxwell. And O.P.D. Sgt. Greg Stahley said that slain O.P.D. Officer Dan Bessant will be honored at a bridge dedication ceremony this Friday, June 8th at 5:00 p.m. Attendees should gather on the south side of the Harbor Bridge at Pacific Street. Meeting notes by Lola Sherman The next monthly meeting will take place at 8:30 a.m. on May 7th at the MainStreet office at 701 Mission Ave. in Downtown Oceanside.
The MainStreet Morning Meeting is held on the first Tuesday of each month. We welcome all parties interested in the progress of Downtown Oceanside, including business people, residents, and City staff. The Downtown Development Manager, Code Enforcement, Special Events and Parks and Rec attend our meeting and present an update concerning our downtown and the adjoining harbor. The OPD is usually present to report on downtown issues and accept input from meeting attendees.
--Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside, announced that the annual Ironman triathlon competition will be held March 30.
This informative one hour meeting is held in an informal discussion format. The general public is always welcome! Come meet your city officials, MainStreet Oceanside staff and members and find out about upcoming events and changes to your downtown and your city.
--Gaul and David Nydegger, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, said a meeting will be held Thursday, March 7, at 7:30 a.m. in chamber offices to try to combat a proposal to require environmental-impact reports on
The MainStreet Morning Meeting is held at 8:30 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at the MainStreet Oceanside meeting room at 701 Mission Avenue. Call our office for directions at (760) 754-4512.
Local artist repairs downtown mural
Sue Pruett thought her mural could lose a bit of touch-up. After all, it was 11 years old.
had been beating down on it for 11 years. She still had some of the original paint.
Doors, utility boxes and exterior pipes are painted as well to complement the scene.
The mural runs the entire backside of the Sunshine Brooks Theatre in the alley between Coast Highway and Tremont Street in downtown Oceanside.
Pruett went to the city to find out the protocol for touching up the mural and was referred to MainStreet Oceanside, which took her up on her offer.
Mostly, Pruett said, she had to repair the sand, which had fallen victim to the most graffiti.
It is separated from Tremont by a public parking lot and is most visible at that site.
The original work, with the help of her husband, Chris, and some friends, took 26 straight days to complete, Pruett said. They used rollers to paint the mural.. “I do not do any spraying,” she said, “because I’m totally against spraying.”
Pruett, who specializes in decorative arts, was commissioned by the city of Oceanside, which owns the building, to paint the mural in 2002. She had bid the project and been approved by the city’s Arts Commission and the City Council. “I had lived in Oceanside for 25 years, so I definitely wanted to get the job,” she said. And now, she said, “I do go down there a lot,” and she had noticed patches which did not match the rest of the work. Also, the sun
Someday, she said, “maybe we will repair the whole thing. We want to keep it looking nice.” But she would need a “cherry picker” device to get to the top, as she had done before. Story and photos by Lola Sherman
On March 22, she and her husband completed the repair work in only four hours. She had chosen a “postcard” theme of three iconic sights for her work as the simplest way to depict Oceanside on the wall. “What we ended up doing,” she said, “was repairing the whole bottom section,” including nicks in the stucco. “We ended up kinda redoing anything we could reach” - which is about as high as taggers had gone with their graffiti. “It does look very clean,” Pruett said. And, she promised “I will keep an eye on it” to make sure it stays that way – she’s hanging on to the paint. The first postcard is labeled “Oceanside Harbor,” the second depicts Mission San Luis Rey and gives its name and date of founding, 1798; and the third, a picture of the municipal fishing pier includes a message: “Wish you were here.” Palm trees, surfboards, the surf itself, a dog, a plane and lots of sand complete the idyllic picture.
Sue Pruett was presented with MainStreet Oceanside’s “Downtown Hero” award by Executive Director Rick Wright at a recent MainStreet Morning Meeting.
VENDOR Spotlight Min Pin Manor brings gourmet treats to the Sunset Market How do you find a cookie cutter in the shape of a dog bone? You ask your friend to make you one.
The booth sells all kinds of stuffed-animal dogs and cute signs like “Beware of Friendly Dog,” but it’s the homemade dog treats that attract the attention of shoppers like Debora Mann, with her basset hound, Daisy Mann, and Rachel Cote, with her American Eskimo dog, Bliss. They’re all from Oceanside. Long said her entry into the dog treats business came about as a result of the pet-food scare of 2007 when products from China caused renal failure in American cats and dogs. “I thought what better way (to be safe) than to make your own,” Long said.
“They’re soft like a cookie, not hard like a biscuit,” Ed Long said.
Tracie Long needed such a device because she bakes doggie treats.
And therefore, he said, the snacks are great both for young puppies whose teeth are still growing and for older dogs who can’t handle harder foods.
Long sells her handcrafted dog treats from her “Min Pin Manor” booth at the Sunset Market on Thursday evenings in downtown Oceanside. The “min pin” name comes from Long’s own dogs: miniature pinschers. She’s had her business for over two years and has had her booth at the market – on Tremont Street across from the landmark Dorothy’s Military Shop - for over a year.
She said she did some Internet research to come up with flavors that dogs would like and also investigated making food for dogs with allergies or digestive issues.
“They’re all fresh-baked this morning,” he tells passersby. Long makes two sizes of treats: about fourinches long for big dogs and about two-anda-half inches long for littler canines.
Long thought about animal health because one of her own dogs has a skin allergy. Although he gives his wife all the credit for coming up with the doggie treats, Long’s husband, Ed, helps promote sales at the booth.
A sample pack of four treats sells for $1; a bag of 16 mixed treats is $2.50.
Both Longs stress that the products offer ingredients that meet “human-grade” standards and contain no preservatives or extra sugar or salt. For instance, they said, they hard-press their own peanut butter rather than buy the store-processed variety.
Otherwise, she’s a clerk at See’s Candies in Temecula.
The treats come in four flavors: peanut butter, sweet potato (shaped like stars), carob (a chocolate alternative) and a wheat-free honey snack.
Long also sells her products at a farmers market in Hemet on Saturday mornings and “at local charity events.”
Story and photos by Lola Sherman
High Tea Fundraiser Join us for an elegant High Tea in the Civic Center Plaza featuring a scrumptious menu and teas, tasteful entertainment, silent auction and opportunity drawings. Tickets are $25 and all proceeds benefit the Friends of the Oceanside Public Library and Oceanside Public Library Foundation. 3:00 pm Oceanside Civic Center Plaza & Courtyard Tickets on sale at the Library Main Branch (760) 435-5560 or (760) 726-9662
Oceanside High School Graduation 5:00 pm Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater West Terminus of Pier View Way
APRIL 20 -21 Oceanside Days of Art The 21st annual Oceanside Days of Art is a free family art festival featuring over 120 local artists selling a variety of fine art including paintings, sculptures, stained glass, ceramics, fine jewelry, photography and more. The festival also offers live stage performances, free hands on art activities for all ages, and a delicious variety of food choices in the food court. Other attractions include a Senior Art Show, a High School Art Show, Angelique the Living Music Box, street chalk artists, face painting, and more. Sponsored by the Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation. 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Streets surrounding Oceanside Civic Center 300 N. Coast Highway www.ocaf.info
APRIL 25 Environmental Film Festival and Student Film Showcase Green Oceanside is pleased to partner with Oceanside Museum of Art to bring the groundbreaking documentary Trashed with Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons to this year’s Environmental Film Festival. The winners of the the Student Environmental Film Contest will also be showcased. 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Oceanside Museum of Art 704 Pier View Way Downtown Oceanside www.oceansiderecycles.org
APRIL 27 Oceanside Green Fair Come Enjoy North County’s largest Earth Day celebration! The day will be loaded with fun and engaging activities for everyone, including dozens of environmentally friendly booths, products and organizations. 11:00 am to 4:00 pm Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater West Terminus of Pier View Way www.oceansiderecycles.org Free Electronics Recycling and Data Destruction Event Bring anything that plugs into the wall or is battery operated to have it responsibly recycled. There will also be on-site shedding of computer hard drives and confidential papers. 11:00 am to 4:00 pm City Parking Lot at 200 N. Myers Street www.oceansiderecycles.org Vintage Surf Swap Meet Add to your collection. Great deals on surfboards and memorabilia at the Longboard Collector Club’s Annual Swap Meet. 6:00 am to 11:30 am City Parking Lot at 220 N. Tremont Street www.surfmuseum.org
MAY 11 Rubio’s World Oceans Day Beach Bash and Clean-up Fun activities including: free surf lessons, face painting, beach clean-up, vendor booths, games, contests, raffles, live music, art for kids, free food and more. Sponsored by Rubio’s Restaurants, Inc. Brought to you by Oside Parks And Rec. 11:00 am to 2:00 pm Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater West Terminus of Pier View Way http://www.rubios.com/worldoceansday
MAY 18 Operation Appreciation Day-long celebration to thank active duty military and their families for their service. The day includes live entertainment, military displays, sponsor booths, food service and a children’s area with carnival rides. 11:00 am to 4:00 pm Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater West Terminus of Pier View Way (760) 722-1534 www.OceansideChamber.com
JUNE 15 Race Across America Race Across America (RAAM) is one the most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world. The race begins in Oceanside and continues across the country to the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland. Noon Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater West Terminus of Pier View Way www.RaceAcrossAmerica.org
INDEPENDENCE WEEK JUNE 29 Oceanside’s Independence Day Parade 10:00 a.m. North on Coast Highway from Wisconsin Street to Civic Center Drive OceansideParade.com North County Cobras vs. San Diego Thunder Football Game 2:00 p.m. Kick-off Oceanside High School Athletic Stadium NCCobras.com Concert and “Bring It On” Movie 5:00 p.m. Junior Seau Amphitheatre www.ci.oceanside.ca.us
JULY 3 125th Anniversay Celebration Ceremony 11:00 a.m. Oceanside Civic Center Plaza 300 N. Coast Highway OceansideChamber.com 125th Anniversary Fireworks 9:00 p.m. Location and details to be announced. www.ci.oceanside.ca.us
JULY 4 Star Spangled Sunset Market 2:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Corner of Coast Highway and Pier View Way SunsetMarket.com
RESTAURANT Spotlight Historic Weitzel House is home to Hill Street Cafe owned by Oceanside pioneers Martin and Sarah Weitzel. Weitzel Street in Oceanside is named for the family. “Some people say it’s the oldest house in Oceanside,” Callaway said. “It’s definitely one of the oldest, and it’s definitely something special.” Hawthorne said it’s not the oldest, but definitely one of the earliest homes in town. Callaway has owned the business for a dozen years. He leases the building from its savior, Paul Adams whom Callaway believes rescued it from the wreckers’ ball and moved it to its current location. Hawthorne said that was in 1981. Adams operated a flower shop on the property.
Dan Callaway keeps his lawyer license current – just in case. But the owner of Hill Street Cafe says business has been doing good enough these days that he doesn’t have to spend much time in the courtroom. Callaway attributes good business to good food and good location – downtown Oceanside. “Oceanside has incredible assets – the beach, the harbor, the incredible people,” Callaway said sitting at a table on the veranda of the historic home which houses his restaurant a 624 S. Coast Highway. Built in 1888, the yellow Victorian originally stood at 602 N. Clementine St - corner of Fifth Street (now Sportfisher Drive), according to Kristi Hawthorne, president of the Oceanside Historical Society. It was
Then he leased it to people who called it Hill Street Coffee House and offered beverages, pastries and sandwiches. They didn’t have a full kitchen. Callaway changed all that when he built a kitchen and expanded the menu to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner, keeping the casual, hip atmosphere that had made it a local favorite enjoyed, he said, by everyone from skateboarding youth to well-heeled senior. But starting a new restaurant is not an easy task in the beginning years. “The first few years were really tough,” Callaway said. “We worked 90hour weeks, and it took every penny I could make as a lawyer to keep it alive.” Callaway kept the name of the business even after the City Council, thinking the new moniker more touristy and beachy and certainly a continuation of Pacific Coast Highway in upscale parts of Orange and Los Angeles counties, renamed the street. It had been Hill Street for generations. There was a negative connotation to Hill Street
not too many years ago, but Callaway said “I kind-of knew that the infamy of Hill Street would fade away. I wanted to keep a little bit of old Oceanside for old Oceansiders.” “I love downtown,” Callaway, an Oceanside resident for 45 years, said. As for going into the business of serving food, he said ”I put myself through college and law school working in restaurants.” “When the opportunity became available” to buy the cafe, he said he jumped on it. As for the food he serves, Callaway said, he tries for an “eclectic mix” just like the
City of Oceanside celebrates 125 years of cityhood
demographics of his clientele. “We have a lot of skateboarders and surfers to sweet elderly couples who have been here all their lives, to people from the more-expensive properties along the beach.” he said. The restaurant serves a lot of military customers as well, Callaway said. “There are some who have been coming here the whole time. I have watched their kids grow from (age) 5 to 17.” Some people come in twice a day, he said. “They’re all great customers,” he said, “It’s why I took the risk to do something like this in Oceanside,” he said, and dared to try “something a little less mainstream.” “It fits Oceanside, I think,” he said. “Now healthy is important,” he said, so he serves a traditional breakfast but with homemade turkey sausage and bacon. He offers a lot of vegetarian and vegan selections. “I try to be inclusive,” Callaway said, so that “the 17-year-old couple on a date can split a burrito and pay only $9 while an older, moreaffluent couple might spend $80 for dinner with a fine wine.
page magazine titled Oceanside, California: Celebrating 125 Years. The magazine features a history of the city as well as an historical timeline. The magazine is illustrated with hundreds of historical photos provided by the Oceanside Historical Society. Free copies of the magazine are available at the Chamber office at 928 N. Coast Highway. Copies are also available at the MainStreet Oceanside office at 701 Mission Avenue and at the weekly Farmers Market and the Sunset Market each Thursday. With the Chamber of Commerce in the lead, many of Oceanside’s civic groups are gearing up to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Oceanside’s cityhood. To kick off the planning efforts, David Nydegger, CEO of the Chamber commissioned the official logo. Other groups involved in the planning include the Oceanside Historical Society, MainStreet Oceanside, Oceanside Public Library, MiraCosta College, KOCT: the Oceanside Channels, Oceanside Museum of Art, Old Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside Parks and Recreation, Visit Oceanside Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and Tri-City Medical Center. The Oceanside Public Library has created a special 125th Anniversary of Oceanside commemorative library card that features a historic photo of the Spencer building that housed Oceanside’s first library.
“Some say the service is slow,” Callaway said. “but I want people to enjoy themselves, take their time, have the opportunity to relax in this beautiful old house.” This summer, he plans to add a little fish market because there isn’t one downtown.
Shirts are available at the Chamber office or online at OceansideChamber.com.
And the restaurant’s success, he said, has mirrored what has been happening in town. “It’s exciting,” he said. “It’s exciting what is happening in Oceanside in general.” Callaway sees only better times ahead for both the area and the business. He said his father always used to say “God only made so much property between (Interstate) 5 and the beach.” Story and photos by Lola Sherman
The Chamber has also created a line of commemorative shirts to mark the 125th anniversary. One design sports the anniversary logo while the other shirt features the famous “Tan Your Hide in Oceanside” slogan with the original artwork made famous by the freeway sign so many years ago.
All new patrons will receive a free card during the year-long celebration, while current card holders may purchase one for $1.25. The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce is commemorating this auspicious anniversary by publishing a one hundred
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