September 4th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1925, the owner of Tom’s Place, the “BEST paying concession in city,” ran a classified ad putting the place up for sale. 

Here’s the deal offered. For $750 cash and a good automobile, you would get:

  1. a 21 stool restaurant
  2. bait and tackle
  3. candy and soft drinks
  4. 3 furnished tent houses (all rented)
  5. a 4-year lease, rent paid until March 1, 1926
  6. a business clearing $3500 a year and clear of debt

Tom’s Place operated at  where Bogart’s Coffee House  operates today. The next time you’re there ordering a caramel macchiato and a banana, strawberry & nutella crepe, check to see if there’s a vacancy in any of the tent houses.

Screenshot 2016-08-31 10.33.24

– Michael Dobkins

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3 Responses to September 4th in Seal Beach History

  1. Oh man…to me, that’s Wilson’s Wetsuits! And next door was Kiko’s. And the place on the corner, I don’t what it’s name really was, but my grandma called it “The Greasy Spoon”.



    • Michael Dobkins says:


      I remember it as the wetsuit place, but I couldn’t remember the actual business name. I also fondly remember Kiko’s. I don’t have any photos of Kiko’s and they never seemed to advertise in the papers, but there are a couple news stories about the owners that I might use next year. And “The Greasy Spoon” was called “The Sun Palace” at some point, at least that’s my memory.

      That’s sort of the point of doing this project. There are so many versions of Seal Beach based on what sort of experience you had here and when you had it. There was a point when Bob’s Rexall, John’s Food King, Vinzant’s Varieties, Kiko’s, and Grandma’s Ice Cream were all brand new businesses, and the old timers could reminisce about what businesses used to be at those addresses back in the good ol’ days. Now the business I just named are gone and newer and younger residents are having their Seal Beach experience, and we’re reminiscing about the good ol’ days. Nostalgia can be a trap, but I think it’s good to take note of what once was before it disappears completely from living memory.


      • Lonnie says:

        I enjoy these looks back (and at what’s happening now); they almost always trigger my memories, and stole my imagination trying to imagine what it was like before my days there. Seal Beach was a great place to grow up, and I’d love to go back to that time…as a kid, because it might not have the same shine to these older eyes.

        Btw, Wilson’s Wetsuits started as a bait and tackle shop. They had a side business repairing wetsuits in the back. Eventually, that took over.

        Kiko’s will always have a special place in my heart as the first place I had a chocolate dipped cone…years before Tasty Freeze opened.

        I’ve probably mentioned before that before it was Bob’s Rexall, it was…just Rexall. Before that, dunno. I used to go every…uh…Wed, or was it Thur, when the new comic books arrived, to get all the latest Marvel titles. My mom worked there after Bob bought it, who lived up around the corner from us on “upper” Catalina (we lived on the lower part). He was also from Nebraska like we were (but I’d been in California since I was two, in Seal Beach since kindergarten).

        Thanks as always, I look forward to these posts every day!


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