The Coast Inn History Project

About The Site

This web-site is for those of us who care about Laguna history and its deep roots created by businesses that were established by hard work, integrity and a desire to contribute to the community. The Coast Inn on Pacific Coast Highway and Mountain Road was built this way about ninety years ago. I am sharing with you its inspiring history. I am also correcting an error made to the history some ten years ago. My hope is that this site will pull together those of us who appreciate how our history helps mold us and how roots can help a city and its residence blend together in a manner of cooperation.

Residence over the span of many years found a sense of community in the Coast Inn bars. I don’t think the Smith photos are clearly showing off the bar style. The two bars both were the long bar counter tops but the tops were glass. So someone sitting at the bar watched the tropical fish swimming in their aquarium below the glass. Our upstairs bar was dark and of the sophisticated style but both bars were the TIKI theme. Our photos don’t capture our good friend Mogens Abel’s carved murals in both bars. The decor pulled together a great ambiance for all who wanted a drink through the years.  The South Seas bar was the fun loving beach crowd.

So I think each decade can tell a different story, even after Sidney Bryan bought and managed this establishment. Sid’s family management style was similar to my family, very hands on. I went to 7th/8th grade on Park Ave with Sid. We were also neighbors on TOW (Top of the World), thus became friends. I would think Sid agrees, we invite all of you to share your stories and memories and to enjoy history all


I am dedicating my site to my 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren. They are the reason I am motivated to take the time and expense to document their history. So this site is for my oldest, Charlene, and her husband Sal with two toddlers, Logan and Miles. And for my youngest, Marni, who has successfully raised Mackenzie, Jadyn and Ryan.

I want to leave each of you with a sense of your family who has walked the walk of life before you. It is my hope that this site gives you a taste of what it was like for me growing up in Laguna among a family who worked and played together. I was part of a generation who, although family, were also friends watching out and helping each other, no matter the challenges. They worked together, often dined together, even traveled together. It was my generation that began the moving away once married, seeing what life was like or “spreading our wings”. Hindsight causes me to regret that now. I see families who stayed and worked together fair out happier. This website displays for me how I love each of you, how I honor your decisions and am grateful every time I am included into your lives. Family remains very high on my want list as we all progress on our journey of life. I will always support each of you like my family did me; they never complained when I moved away and constantly took action whenever I needed help.

Now, looking at the Smith journey, one marvels when realizing their success was during the depression and WW11. Their challenges, although different from yours, were difficult. I have watched both of my girls go through incredible challenges and come out the other side. Great family genes? I marvel with delight.

I also dedicate this site for the community of Laguna Beach. To be clear, I write from a place of personal growth, thus balance, acceptance and love. I am not political, as seems to be popular today. I like truth to prevail. So I have no need to write about the social political aspects of the diversity we share in Laguna. I grew up with diversity in Laguna, and I accepted our differences at an early age. Laguna has always embraced others who have migrated from other parts of the world. My desire is to see all of us keep alive and embrace the history leading the way for this building to become vibrant once again, carrying on my family’s tradition.