September 16th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1919, the Los Angeles Times reported that restaurateur Gustav Mann had sold the Jewel City Cafe to F.C. Blankenship.

Gustav Mann bought the Jewel City Cafe ten months into its existence in April 1917, but the cafe was not as successful as hoped, contrary to the cheery and optimistic tone of Jewel City Cafe ads in the local newspapers.

As reported in a post covering July 12th, 1917, Mann had attempted to bolster the Jewel City Cafe’s failing business with one last bombastic public relations campaign, but now he was throwing in the waiter’s towel.

Under F.C. Blankenship’s ownership, the Jewel City Cafe would gain a raucous and sinful reputation, and the cafe would continue to struggle under a variety of optimistic and hopeful owners and managers until it was torn down in 1936.

– Michael Dobkins


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