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101 Cafe, Oceanside, California

101 cafe

Ben Calkins:
I am Owner/Partner of the 101 Cafe in Oceanside, CA.  It was opened in 1928 as a twenty seat diner.  Of Course in California we did not have classic diners, but we did come close with some of our little Cafes.  They added 40 more seats in 1937 making it a full service restaurant in the very busy US Highway 101.  It was of course named after the Highway.  The greyhound bus even stopped in front for many years. 

The cafe provided curb-service in the early 40's.  And of course we know that curb-service was the first reference to drive-in service.  The Cafe was remodeled in 1954 to reflect the newest crave Drive-Ins.  An overhang was added to the building and covered parking was added along the North property line to provided for about forty spaces.  The new owner "Bushie" Graham changed the name to Graham's Drive-In.

101 cafe night shot

My partner and I took over the property about twenty years ago.  It had been renamed Randy's Coffee Shop.  Later we brought back the original name, 101 Cafe.  We have kept the Cafe looking just as it did in the 50's.  It is our privilege to own the oldest Cafe on Highway 101 on the entire West Coast.  We have worked hard to promote the Cafe using the Historic Highway 101 as a big part of those promotions.  The State of California designated the 101 Highway as Historic in 1998.  I have been involved in founding the Highway 101 Association, which was incorporated to preserve and promote the Historic Route.(

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