The Cottage Restaurant Closed
I have never lived in Laguna Beach, although I have lived close by. Even when I lived inland and several hours from Laguna Beach it has always been a special place to me. As a child, my family spent vacation time in Laguna and it is a special place I could never forget. Many things in Laguna have stayed the same or appear to have stayed the same. In many ways and with the influence of the art community, Laguna Beach has always been what it was even as time marches forward. I like the charm of Laguna Beach and if you told me that I could ever lose my affection for this 7.5 miles of scenic coastline with sea cliffs, headlands, jagged rocks, inter-coastal reefs, tide pools, beaches and coves tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Pacific Coast Highway, I would tell you that was impossible. It still is really but a recent discovery is trying to poke a hole in the belief that I couldn’t ever think Laguna Beach was anything but wonderful.
Remember the quote in Ferris Bueller’s day off where the king of ditching high school says, ” If you don’t stop to look around every once in a while life passes you by?” Boy, if that isn’t the truth. I had no idea that this had happened! Last week I drove by the old Cottage Restaurant in North Laguna Beach and I noticed that the landscape around the restaurant looked like it hadn’t been paid attention to in some time. I told my parents that I thought the Cottage Restaurant might be out of business. The restaurant had been there 48 years before closing on December 26,2012. Apparently, the owner of the land had put the property that the Cottage sat on up for sale without their knowledge and were essentially forced out by new ownership. I have been to the Cottage a dozen times or so in my lifetime. While I have never been a regular patron it is a restaurant that I identify Laguna Beach with. It has been there forever. Today, I saw a construction fence around the property thus confirming my fear that an iconic Laguna Beach restaurant that I grew up with had closed its doors.
I remember when there were abalone in the tide pools at Main Beach. I remember when Aliso Beach had a pier. I remember when we used to body board Salt Creek and come back to Main Beach to get a yogurt at a shop just off PCH on Laguna Canyon Road on our way home. I remember when Starbucks was a restaurant I believe was called Tomasinos. I remember Laguna Beach Brewery and I certainly remember fondly the Cottage Restaurant. Laguna Beach may be one of those places where the more things change, the more they remain the same. That isn’t perfectly true but this coastal paradise does a good job of staying with the look, charm and feel that makes it so special and consistent with how it was years ago. I do admit however that the Cottage no longer being a part of Laguna Beach disheartens me but I like how the owner of the Cottage chose to remain positive and look towards the future. Although the owner was said to have a difficult time with needing to close the doors of the Cottage, she was said to have maintained a dignity, class and positive outlook for the future even among uncertain times. 48 years is quite a run for a restaurant, and although I will miss the Cottage, I am interested in seeing what the future holds!
I love Laguna Beach and I always will. It is a timeless and beautiful place that I simply could never grow tired of. I will miss the Cottage Restaurant and I wish ownership of that fine restaurant a prosperous future in whatever they do.