Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Laguna Beach, A&P, candy, and robot gorillas

With all the artsy stuff bringing tourists to Laguna Beach this time of year, I thought I'd post a couple shots of an iconic Laguna tourist attraction. Here are two views of The Pottery Shack on Coast Highway. In 1936, the Childs family opened The Pottery Shack in what had previously been the unfortunately named Yum-Yum Tea Room. The business operated in that location until 2004. Two years later the place reopened as a collection of shops and restaurants called "The Old Pottery Place." According to their website, the whole complex has been "renovated in compliance with The Secretary of Interior’s specifications for historical structures and under the auspices of the Laguna Beach Heritage Committee."
The image above is probably from the 1960s, and the postcard below appears to be from the 1950s. Both images feature statues of Laguna's "Greeter," Eiler Larsen. The UCI Special Collections' blog, "Anteater Antics," recently featured an interesting post about Larsen.

Update, 7-18-2010: In response to this post, alert reader Matterhorn1959 (of Stuff From The Park fame,) writes, "I always enjoyed the greeter. Is the other statue still by the hotel?"
Statue at Greeter's Corner Restaurant. (Photo by author)
Well, the statue isn't exactly next to the hotel, but it's about a block away, in front of Greeter's Corner Restaurant. In fact, it's just across the street from the gate sign. Except for a missing thumb, it's in good condition.
Yesterday's Register featured an article about A&P Collectibles' "30th anniversary that almost wasn't." This well-loved fixture of Old Towne Orange lost its lease recently but at the last minute landed a new space right across the street. May A&P continue to provide for O.C.'s antique china and silver needs for yet another 30 years! (By the way, their handsome new shop is in the Christopher Building (1931), on N. Glassell, which was built by the same Christopher who invented such candies as Big Cherry and Sunkist Fruit Gems.
This blog generates quite a bit of email. But this message from "K.C." is probably the strangest email I received this month:
"I am inquiring about your animatronic gorilla for rent. Do you have pictures and pricing?"


Connie Moreno said...

Hey, I'm next in line for the gorilla, LOL!!

Matterhorn1959 said...

And I need the gorilla after Connie is finished renting it.

Did not know the Old Pottery Shack was a new shopping location. I always enjoyed the greeter. Is the other statue still by the hotel?

Chris Jepsen said...

Yes, there's a second statue of the greeter in front of a store between the Hotel Laguna and Main Beach. It was still there the last time I checked.

I don't know anything about gorillas, except that they don't blog. (http://gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com)

Connie Moreno said...

LOL! good one, Chris!!!

The Viewliner Limited said...

Great post Chris. Somewhere I have a picture of Mr Larsen and myself when I was 16 or 18 years old.

I liked him. He was a good man. If I can find the picture I will share it with you and your readers.

Major Pepperidge said...

I have a couple of vintage slides of the pottery shack (1950's). Maybe I should start posting some of these images?

Why are you pretending that you don't have an animatronic gorilla? Is it a ploy to drive the price up?