Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More Claim Jumper history: Nik's and Nick's

This is a follow-up to my post a couple months ago about the history of Claim Jumper restaurants. I told you that Carl Nickoloff previously ran Nik's Coffee Shop in Long Beach (seen below), and that Carl and his son Craig started Claim Jumper in Los Alamitos in 1977. The family later sold the chain.In response to my post, founder Craig Nickoloff sent me a very nice email that included information about yet another generation of the family to go into the restaurant business:
"...Meanwhile my son, Nick Nickoloff, who is a fourth generation restaurateur has opened two restaurants in Orange County serving lunch and dinner, 'Nick's Laguna' and 'Nick's San Clemente', both restaurants are doing great and he is planning on expanding in the near future, I am very proud.
"My daughter and son-in-law have opened a small sandwich shop in San Clemente on Pico Blvd next to the high school named 'Humphry's', they are doing great, the sandwiches are excellent."
I had the chance to have dinner at Nick's San Clemente last night. (See photo at the top of today's post.) The food was very good, and the place was packed. Expect prices that are a bit steeper than Claim Jumper. The vibe is "nice casual." My Hawaiian shirt was fine, but I felt a bit under-dressed in the jeans and sneakers I'd been wearing to walk around town that afternoon. Also, be warned that one of their salads is almost a meal by itself.
.
Toward the back of the establishment were a number of framed menus and photos from the old Nik's Coffee Shop in Long Beach. I snapped photos (below) so I could share them here on the blog.
(I apologize for the fuzziness of all these photos. The battery in my good camera went dead and I was left using an older digital camera that I happened to have in my glove compartment.)
I love the wonderful Mid-Century logo and signage! It would have been at home on any Googie building. Here's where I wish I'd been using my newer camera. Still, you get the idea.
To see my original post about Claim Jumper, click here.

2 comments:

walterworld said...

Dang!

I visited that address on Google Maps, and see a newer (remodeled?) restaurant rather than Niks's Coffee Shop...

Perhaps Nik's lies underneath that modern sheen?

Roberta Coakley-Vargas said...

I miss my great grandpa's restaurant, Nik's. I had lots and lots of fun there.
I loved the cherries from Harry in the bar every time us "twins" got to go to the restaurant.
The roast beef sandwich was my most favorite!
Love,
Roberta, one of the two twins!