Monday, March 14, 2005

A Kinder Gentler Cook's Corner

An article written by Los Angeles Times writer Daniel Yi describes changes taking place at Cook's Corner.

A few months ago, it was bought by a couple of Greek business partners. They've replaced the paper plates with dishes, hired a new cook, and apparently improved the pastrami sandwich.

According to the article, they:

are focused on cleaning up the place. They've ordered 170 new barstools, and the graffiti-ridden bathrooms are next in the list of improvements.

"We are keeping it the same," said Katelaris, "but making it nicer."
It's actually pretty good read. There's quite a bit of history going back to the 1930's.

I last visited Cook's Corner a few weeks ago, having ridden there with a few of my riding buddies. The place was just packed solid. There was easily 300 bikes there, maybe 400, along with cars parked all the way up Live Oak Canyon road. A bluegrass band was playing there.

As the article said, they've replaced the paper plates with "real" plates. I hadn't noticed it that day, but having read the article now, sure enough, I remember everything being on paper plates. The place could definitely use a bigger restroom.

Cook's Corner is only to become more popular as the popularity of motorcycles and riding clubs increase. I imagine something's going to give between them and the executive homes being built all around there. The new owners will probably seek building permits to make improvements to the parking lot and patio, and nearby homeowners may seek to block such attempts.


  1. I've been going to Cook's Corner for a little over 15 years, when it was still jam-packed with local Marines doing the two-step all night. When we got our Harley a few years ago, I was thrilled to finally be able to visit it the right way... on a motorcycle. It's now one of our regular weekend stops.

    I wasn't too sure about the change in ownership, but I have to say I've become extremely pleased now. They managed to keep the ambience and authenticity of the place, while making some much-needed revisions.

    What I am most thrilled with is the ladies room they rennovated last year. For months, that's all you could hear the women there talk about. I used to use the restroom ONLY in dire emergencies (we live close enough I used to go home instead). The new owners were very smart to make this one of their first priorities because women tend to be more picky about these things than men (in general). A lot of my gal pals there used to do the same thing as me... leave instead of use the restroom. Now, that so many women aren't afraid to use the restrooms, they'll buy more drinks, and stick around longer.

  2. For those Cook's Corner fans out there, I just created a pretty cool 360 degree panoramic photographic of Cook's Corner for your viewing pleasure. I grew up < 10 miles from this place and I'm glad to see it still there.


  3. Cook's Corner - now that brings back some memories. Between my Dad's trips to Vietnam, he and I did alot of camping in Oneil Park, and I remember he even fished up there. However, we always stopped at Cook's Corner on the way up to the park while he stopped in for "just a minute". I can still picture my father taking me inside and introducing me to the folks, and then handing me some coins to play the pinball machines and bowling game while he downed a couple of beers. He would always order me a root beer to keep me happy, and made me promise not to tell Mom about our stop at Cook's Corner :) This was when it was still an outta the way country bar and had to have been in the 1966-1970 time-frame.

  4. Quite simply put, under the new management and the recent status of a Historical Site, Cook's Corner has to be the best biker bar in the world!

  5. Kalona1982@yahoo.comDecember 15, 2009 12:38 PM

    I lived in Trabuco Canyon from 1962 to 1965 and rode the school bus past Cook's Corner to Tustin High School every day. I rode the bus with Sharon Cook, who always got off at that stop. Wonder what happened to her? Trabuco was a magic place, Cook's Corner no less. When I rode my horse around, I usually rode down to Cook's and then back. Strangly, I never ate there, no sure why except I was so young and never had any cash. I learned to drive by losing control of my car and going off into a field next to Cook's. My dad, who was riding shotgun, was silent a moment and then told me that since I had learned to drive off into a field, I could now learn to drive back onto the road, and in so doing I would have gained total control of the car. I learned to drive by going all around those crazy roads, up and down the Modjeska grade, in and out of Trabuco and always back and forth past Cook's. Lots of magic up on those hills!

  6. I used to ride my motorcycle out to Cook's when it was out in the middle of nowhere. This would have been late 70s, early 80s. Now I work a couple of miles from there.


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