Friday, January 29, 2010

A "Captain's" Restaurant in Seal Beach

Anonymous remembers going to a restaurant in Seal Beach named "Captain's" something, but can't recall the whole name...

I've lived in Orange County since 1982, but in the LA area since 1959. Back in the 60's, when my Aunt & Uncle lived in Los Alamitos, we used to go to a restaurant on the water in Seal Beach. My best recollection was that it was called The Captain's Inn or Table. I believe it's long gone but have never been able to find any information about it, or even confirm the name. Even my cousins don't remember it.

The same conversations went on for years about a drive-in that I remember being located at the corner of PCH and MacArthur. I finally found an online reference to The Zoo, though my cousins still don't recall it.

I'd really love some help with the 'Captain's' in Seal Beach.

I think he's talking about Captain Jack's Prime Rib & Seafood, which is technically in Sunset Beach, just south of Seal Beach. Captain Jack's has been there since 1956, so it would have been in the time frame.

But Captain Jack's is still in operation.

What do you think?


  1. Captain's Table. I think it was a buffet. Or maybe I'm confusing it with King's Table (in Anaheim?)

  2. If it was Captain Jack's, they had the best King Crab legs around.

  3. I think you are referring to Captain Jacks. We tried to have dinner there last night and the line was out the door :-(. I've been going to Captain Jacks for 35 years and it's my all time favorite restaurant, anywhere. I now live in Temecula, CA but have a friend I visit several times a year who lives in Costa Mesa, and go to CJ's every visit.

    Simply put, you can't get a better meal or fresher seafood anywhere, for any price (yes, it's spendy).

    Hope this helps!

  4. I lived in Huntington Harbor in the early 70s, who can forget Walt's Warf on Main Street in Seal Beach, Sam's on PCH in Sunset Beach and my favorite The Glider Inn on PCH in Seal Beach

  5. The Zoo was Merl's Drive-In before that. When it was Merl's, it was the number one hang-out and drive-in for the hot rod crowd in the 50's, and usually got all the cars after the OC Drags at the old Santa Ana airport. It was the model for Mel's Drive-In in American Graffiti and Happy Days. A photo is on this blog at:

    I spent almost all my high school money at this place.

  6. Bob King ( says ....The Captain's Inn was in Seal Beach on east Alamitos Bay. The Captain's Quarter was in Long Beach on PCH at about Anaheim. Captain Jack's was owned by Jack Haley (went to school with Jack at Seal Beach Grammar and Huntington and Jack worked at my dad's bakery....Jack was Captain of life guards in Seal. He passed away about ten years ago ....went to his "paddle out"). Captain Jack's was originally the Canal Club and is in Sunset. In Seal was the Garden of Allah, the Dovalis Ranch House, the Coast Inn (small coffee shop owned and run by two sisters)m Vogler's Market, the Glid 'er Inn, of course, now Mahe's and a number of other places. In Sunset, of course, Sam's Sea Food Spa reopened as Don the Beachcomber's, I believe. So many great and fun places which are now part of history. Wish I could hop in my time machine and travel back to the post-war years from 1945-1955 in Seal, Sunset, Surfside and Huntington. Oh baby!! Your comments here or directly to the above email address appreciated. By the way, believe the restaurant at the SA airport was Delaney's. And, too, The Zoo drive-in was indeed at the northeast corner of PCH and MacArthur ....just down PCH from the Jamaica Inn ...a great watering hole at the northwest corner of Avocado and PCH. So many great places, so much fun in a much simpler time.

  7. I lived @ the end of Bayview Dr.on Sunset Isl. from '81-'91. Raised my family in one of the cottages drug from the cliffs in the '40's. Can still smell the broiling steaks wafting through the neighborhood from Capt'n Jacks. In Montana now but miss Sunset and the days when I could launch my boat from my back yard,cruise through Huntington Harbor, out through the Naval Weapons Station, under PCH, and out into open water.Yeah,those were the days.

  8. John

    Yes those three restaurants are all favorites from when I lived in Seal Beachback in the day(70's). I guess Walt's is the only one to have survived, but had an unfortunate visit there the last time we went. I'm grateful for the wonderful memories!!

  9. How about the Captain's Inn Alamitos Bay, Long Beach Marina? It would have been in the 60's. It was located on the South shore of the Long Beach Marina and on the Second "Deck" was The Hukilau Polynesian lounge.

  10. I remember the Captain's Inn in LB Marina from when I was a kid in the late 1960s. The best part was being able to see the fish swimming right up at the dock/sidewalk next to the restaurant. My family had our boat docked at gangway 13, so we were always going to Capt's Inn. Great memories there!

  11. The poster's recollection that it was called The Captain's Inn is correct. That restaurant opened the same year ('58 or '59) that the first basin of the Alamitos Bay Marina opened; Appian Way still extended from Naples to Marina Drive where Marina Drive paralleled the San Gabriel River. After the dredging for the rest of the marina was finished Appian Way ended where the LB Yacht Club is located.

    The Captain's Inn changed names more than once. Now it is called the Crab Pot, a chain with five locations in California and Washington. The Long Beach location is 215 Marina Drive. The map at the following link misplaces the marker. It should be closer to the Marina Drive bridge that is near the river mouth.


  13. Does anyone know if Turc's is still around. It was one of my favorite watering holes in the 70s. It was on PCH and really close to the water tower. I used to sail my little Hobie through out all the canals. I also remember a phone booth on PCH that had a full size picture of superman flying up from it. What great memories!

    1. booth gone, picture of Superman still there but on the facade of Woody's.

      Was Turk's before Turc's. When Bill sold Turk's, he made new owners change to Turc's. Bill used to live upstairs over the bar and was a weight lifter. He'd sometimes let barbells slip and they'd come crashing down on the floor. If you were in the bar below, you'd think there was an explosion!

      Great place.

      There's also Mother's, of course.

      There was a "Beach Ball" right across from where Peter's Landing is now......long before Peter's Landing was built.

      There was also the "Dunes" restaurant located at about where Simple Green is now. There were sand dunes ...... to get to the restaurant (run by an ex-Navy chief and his wife and subsequently sold to a friend of mine, Corky Gill) one had to cross over the dunes on planks. It was a Mexican restaurant.

      There was also "Noel's".....a great place for shrimp and other tasty sea foods. The place opened when Noel wanted it to open and close when he wanted it to close. It's now "Surf Taco" or "Taco Surf". Noel's was a fun place.

      Sunset was too bitchin', that's for sure. Still OK, but ambiance has certainly changed from the days I sold snow cones with my brother on South Pacific and Broadway during summer of back of what's now "Harpoon Henry's", or whatever.

      Bob King

  14. In answer to Frank's question, Turc's is still in business. At the link, click on the photo and you will be taken to three photos including one of Turc's and the water tower in the same shot.

  15. The Canal Club was located at the corner of PCH and the street that goes over the bridge in old Sunset Beach. In the mid 1950's it was a steak house that served a spaghetti and meatball dinner on Thursday nights for 75 cents. This was before Huntington Harbor existed, when there still was a "tin can beach" where Balsa Chica State Park is now and when Huntington Beach still had oil well rigs along PCH. At that time Sunset Beach was a very inexpensive place to live and PCH was only busy in the summer.

  16. Frank .....Turc's is still in business - was "Turk's" owned by a weight lifter/wrestler named, if I remember correctly, William ?????. He lived over the bar and many times while sitting at the bar, he'd drop weights on the floor causing, at times, stuff from the ceiling to fall on the bar. Turk died many years ago and, I believe, sold the bar prior to his death with the provision that it be called "Turc's" instead of "Turk's".
    Bob King at majskyking at g mail dot com

  17. I remember going a number of times to the Captains Table in Seal Beach in the 50's with my mother. It was located on a dock...beautiful. The interior looked like a chart room. Heavy wooden tables, beautiful view and wonderful food.For some reason I remember eating a tasty club sandwich with a dill pickle, sun light glistening on the water... filling the restaurant with magical light and thinking "this is heaven". 50 years later I am thinking of it today and googled the name snd found this thread...I moved away many years ago, so have no current information, but I hold a warm memory of The Captains Table and the experience...and of the times.

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