Remembering When

by Jerry Person
Huntington Beach City Historian

Dedicated to the people of Huntington Beach about its rich past

A rich HB history at 414 - 416 PCH



This week we'll remember the businesses that once occupied the wooden two-story building at 414-416 and upstairs at 464-474 Pacific Coast Highway. This building dates back to the very early days of Huntington Beach's history and contained the upstairs offices of the Huntington Beach Company real estate offices through 1920.

Downstairs once held Huntington Beach's first movie theater in the early teens. A traveling showman would rent a space inside, hand up a white sheet for a screen and show the latest silent movies to the delight of our early residents

Another tenant in the building was the Moonlight Cafe and in 1928 before becoming a HB police officer, George Gelzer worked there in 1928.

In 1930 Cecylle Oliver and Stella Lewis had the Coffee Cup Cafe and by the 1940s Oliver had opened her restaurant called Cycelle's Cafe a couple doors away.

Some of the businesses found at that address on PCH or Ocean Avenue as PCH was originally known as, were Pat's Duck Inn in 1939 and in 1940 Charlotte Eader had Charlotte's Flower Shop until Bud's Sporting Goods came along in 1945.

By 1951 it was the Club 416, a neighborhood watering hole and in the mid 1950s it became Washburn's Cafe.

Later in 1951 Bud's was now Charlie's Sporting Goods and by 1952 it was Fred's Homecraft Shop, by the 1960s C.E. Mulheim in the mid 1960s operated the Appliance Service Center and in 1967 legendary surfboard maker Dewey Weber had a surfboard business there.

Upstairs at 474 PCH was the offices of the Huntington Beach Water Company in 1924 and there was Fay's Beauty Salon there in January 1941 and after World War II Ken Austin Appliances was there.

Lucille's Dry Goods had her grand opening on March 17, 1951 and in 1952 Maxwell Brenneman's Photo Studio was there before moving to his later Main Street address. Many remember the Little Canadian Cafe with A.M. Highfill in the mid 1950s and in the 1960s John Castaglida's Tutta-Napoli Pizza was also there.

Jim Overland 's Surfboards California sold boards there in the mid 1960s and later Infinity Surfboards in the 1980s.
On June 29, 1972 El Don Liquor opened his part of the building that is still there. Visitors coming to the beach still think it is a Spanish store because of the name El Don, but it isn't. The original business owner of El Don was the late Eldon "Ed" Bagstadt.