Corky Carroll

Small businesses top readers' favorite Huntington memories

A couple of weeks ago I relayed some of local surfchick photographer Diane Edmonds' favorite memories of growing up in Huntington Beach. I asked for more memories from readers and received the following three e-mails:


"Riding our horses at the beach from the stables next to the old "playhouse" down Main Street. Don's Meat Market, where the original "Hidden Valley" Ranch Dressing could be bought. Strips at the snack shacks along the beach. Sugar Hills on Gothard at Main, where the old sugar factory used to be. My mom still has our original phone number... 47 years and counting."


"Before Jack's Surf shop, the building was a Rexall drugstore. Cagney's by the Sea was one building north on PCH. And it was called The Capri. Across the street from Jack's was a liquor store, then The Golden Bear (when Elvin Bishop played, you could hear him half way out the pier), and on the other side of "the Bear" was the Buzz Inn, then the Chevrolet dealership was on the corner. Also having worked at Neptunes, the way Ella Christensen would watch you like a hawk, if you passed a beer to someone underage, you would be 86ed forever. I've seen it. If you were going to hoist one and weren't 21, you stood a better chance at the Grape N' Ale, the 107 or the Capri."


"Richard's Coffee shop on PCH next to Wimpy's. And do you know where the name El Don came from? It was a man named Eldon who owned it. He has passed away and his daughter Rebecca is the proprietor. And before El Don Liquors, it was Serene Scene clothing, in which I helped build the cork and wood inside. The store was owned by the Avila brothers before their restaurant. And before Cagney's by the Sea, the bar was the Capri, where Jack of Jack Surfboards used to go to lunch every day. I worked for Jack, that's why I know that. Next to Jack's was Dyno, which became Chuck Dents, next to chuck was Leto's Boutique, where I was the surfer/clothier sales' person – wearing low-rise bell-bottom unipants. Across the alley was the paddock bar, which turned into Sunline Surfboards. Next to that was the record/music shop. Then another bar called the Esquire Bar. Then Nieto's Shoe Repair. Next to Nieto's was George's Surf Center, then Terry's drugstore. Around the corner on Walnut and 5th was Terry's Car Dealer. That's about the first block. I could go on, but I'll stop here."

I would like to add, from what's left of my own memory banks, the fire ring next to the pier on the south side and the Pavalon (where Duke's is now).