1958 – 1962 / 1978 – 1992

1965 – 1975
December 4, 2018
January 16, 2019

1958 – 1962 / 1978 – 1992

“I moved with my mom and siblings up on Top of the World and joined all the kids in school down Park Ave. When I was in high school, I decided to spend my extra time making money. Like many, I picked the Coast Inn as my first place of employment. My schoolmate, Kelly, was working for his dad, Bob Boyd, who had leased the restaurant. So both of us worked as busboys and dishwashers for our high school years, nineteen fifty-eight to nineteen sixty-two. During the summers, the town and the Coast Inn would fill with tourists who were happy and had lots of money for tips and that made us as employees happy too.

I was aware of the gay community in Laguna Beach but did not see any gay customers while I worked at the restaurant up to nineteen sixty-two. I did see gay customers both before and after I bought the Coast Inn in nineteen seventy-eight. I would say the South Seas seemed to be seeing a number of local gays joining the straight crowd, thus creating a line outside the entrance of the bar on weekends. I began to notice this change a couple years before I purchased in nineteen seventy-eight.

Sixteen years after working my first-ever job at the Coast Inn, I decided to buy the Coast Inn when Dick and Karl Smith announced their retirement. Dick carried the note for me and ten years later, nineteen eighty-eight, we celebrated the final pay-off. Dick and his wife, Pat, continued to eat dinners weekly at my restaurant while being available to mentor me. Please see a letter I wrote last April for the Historical Registry Report.”

Letter written by Sid Bryan May of 2014:

“When I bought the Coast Inn in 1978 things were changing. The Tap Room upstairs and the restaurant did a very good business lunch during the week for local business people. On the weekends the South Seas bar had a large gay crowd. Charlie the cook had people come from all over for his breakfasts and lunches. The crowd was mixed until 1984 or so. The dance floor in the South Seas bar got more and more popular with lines for a block down the street waiting to get in. There was always a large group of straight locals, but by 1984 or so all of the Coast Inn was predominantly gay.”