Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Original Mike's in Santa Ana

An anonymous OCThen submits a short memory about growing up in Santa Ana...

Santa Ana is my hometown. I live in the IE area now, but when I'm in seems just about everywhere I turn...there's a memory. I remember my parents took us out to eat on Fri to Straw Hat Pizza next to the Pic-n-Save..on Bristol..there was also a restaurant called Sir Georges that we loved so was a buffet style (like Hometown Buffett but smaller).
I have to agree. I lived in Santa Ana from 1978 to 1988, and lived there when I was 12 to 22. Everytime I go back there I see buildings that be used to be other buildings. I remember stuff that ain't there anymore. My wife was born there and can tell you a lot more. Her parents moved there in the 1940s, and the stories never end.

Santa Ana actually is a much nicer place today than when I lived there. I know it has its gang problems, but it had worse gang problems back then.

Some months ago, I had lunch at Original Mike's on the corner of 1st Street and Main. That was just an abandoned building the entire time I lived there, and now it's something pretty cool. When I worked at Santa Ana Public Library, I would walk past that building everyday, and wonder if anyone would do something with it.


  1. I lived in Santa Ana back in 1964 - 1966 and I thought it was a nice place to live. We lived in the apartments at Standard and McFadden (I know - they seem to be the ghetto now) and then down on Minnie between Wilshire and Borchardt. I have been able to see them on the birdseye view map. I have read some articles about the rehab in the Minnie/McFadden area.

    We also used to go to a place called GG's Brown Derby back at that time. I am wondering if anyone remembers it or the location - for some reason I thought it was on Main - but it was so many years ago, and I have been gone from OC since 1966.

  2. Steve wrote:

    "Santa Ana actually is a much nicer place today than when I lived there. I know it has its gang problems, but it had worse gang problems back then."

    I disagree with Steve's comments, but I don't have the time to go into enough detail and explain why I believe Steve is wrong.

    By the way, I also left Santa Ana in 1988, but it was not by choice.

  3. I grew up in Santa Ana and went to Saddleback High School. Graduating in 1976, Straw Hat pizza was the place to go after the football games on Friday night. You would always see the team there.
    The store right next to Straw Hat was actually called "Pants Galore". Just like the kids today, we wore our pants very low and called them hip huggers, and Pants Galore was the place to buy them. They had them in every color of the rainbow and the best part of it all was they were only five bucks a pair!
    Does any one else remember this store? it was sandwiched in betweened Straw Hat and Pic-N-Save. Ahhh the good old days.

  4. To Suzie CA: I also grew up in Santa Ana and graduated from Saddleback in '76. We would go to Straw Hat Pizza before going to the Alton St. "drag strip". I used to get my light blue, black, or brown corduroy pants at Pants Galore and Montgomery Wards. I knew Curt,Randy,and Neal on the Varsity football team. Do you remember "The Streak" through the quad area right after 3rd period in I think '74-'75?...Jeez! What a time!!!!!! Gene S.

  5. The building on 1st & Main that is Original Mike's was United Auto Repair when I was growing up in Santa Ana. I had my car fixed there all the time. That was in the late 50's.

  6. Original Mike's building used to be a car dealership. My Aunt used to live at 111 w Pine and I'd walk down there with my dad and look at the new cars in the showroom windows. I think it was Chevrolet.

  7. santa ana is now just a trash dump

  8. I remember Sir George's in G.G. off of Westminster & Newland. It was a treat going there as a youngster since it was the ONLY buffet type place in the area back then. The next closet buffet was in Vegas. It's now a Seafood Place.

  9. Don't forget Villa Sweden in Huntington Beach, off Main. We used to go there in the 60's and early 70's for Swedish Smorgasbord.

  10. does anyone rememeber the name of a very expensive restuarant in santa ana on main st near 22 fwy and south of hospital it was a fancy named place like french or something like around 60s or early 70s also another restaurnt on state college near ball or? a fancy exotic restaurant place? anyone? anyone? bueller?

  11. Does anyone remember The Barclay Inn on Bristol at Town and Country?


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