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Yesterday, 2-12-17, we rode from Newport Beach CA to Cook’s Corner Biker Bar in Trabuco CA. This is a very short ride (25 miles each way) but we had been told about this popular spot and wanted to check it out. It was a gorgeous Southern CA day, with temps in the low 70s and totally blue skies. We took our time leaving and riding there and arrived around noontime. The joint was packed and we soon discovered that it is a destination point not only for motorcyclists, but mountain bikers as well. They have a separate parking area for the bicyclists.
We did some people watching, took some pictures and videos, had a beer and burger and then took a short mountain ride in the local foothills on our way home. We also chatted up a threesome, one of whom had a Beartooth Highway t-shirt on. We had ridden that famous highway in 2011 and knew he would have a good story. More on that later.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say on Cook’s-
The building is named for Andrew Jackson Cook, a merchant who acquired 190 acres (77 ha) of land in the South Orange County area. The building was constructed not long after, in 1884. In 1926, Cook’s son, Earl Jack “E.J.” Cook, converted the structure into a restaurant meant to supply food to miners and local ranchers. Seven years later, after the end of the Prohibition period, alcohol began being sold again, and Cook’s was converted into a bar. The Cook family sold Cook’s, which included the bar, the Cook’s family house, and about 40 acres of land to two owners, Victor Villa and Volker Streicek, of the Santa Ana, California based motorcycle accessories company Cheat’ah Engineering in 1975. The Cook family purchased a ranch in Montana and moved out of Southern California. Volker and Victor had founded Cheat’ah Engineering in 1969, along with Ron Rondeau. They purchased Cook’s as an investment, but also as a place where motorcycle clubs could gather in peace. Volker and Victor were proud of the fact that Cook’s was a place to party with very few fights between motorcycle clubs and patrons. The owners established a policy where no motorcycle club colors were allowed at Cook’s. Cook’s became one of the more famous social places for bikers in Southern California. Volker and his wife Shirley ran the bar in the late 70’s, before moving to Colorado. Victor and Volker sold Cook’s in the 1980s. Volker died on March 29, 2011 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Victor still lives in Southern California.
Today’s Cook’s Corner is a wooden structure similar to a World War II-era restaurant and bar. The property includes a pool table, outdoor recreational area for horseshoe games, as well as trails for mountain biking and hiking. The majority of bikers come to Cook’s Corner on the weekends, when Cook’s hosts a number of events, mainly dealing with motorcycles, including the “CHOC ride of 2006,” and the “9/11 Remembrance ride.” On the first Sunday of May each year,  about 2,000 come for the annual Blessing of the Bikes given by a priest of nearby St. Michael’s Abbey.  In May 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a stop in Orange County, and ate at Cook’s Corner. During the California wildfires of October 2007, newscasters reporting on the Santiago Fire ate lunch at Cook’s Corner, as well as firefighters working to control the blaze.
In May 2008, a small-scale landslide destroyed a large section of the famous outdoor patio. ABC 7 and NBC 4 were among some of the news teams that broadcast the event. Damages were somewhat minor, and the repairs took just a few days.” Below is a wide angle shot of Cook’s, also courtesy of Wikipedia.
Here are some of the pictures we took-
The three riders on the left in the first picture are the new friends we made, mentioned earlier (Todd, Barb and Bob). We will be hooking up with them for some riding in the future.Todd is the one who rode Beartooth Highway in Montana and actually has done it four times!. Google it for details, or click on the following link-
Below are some interior shots of the bar-
All in all, a good day, especially considering that back home (Massachusetts Coast), they were having a horrible weather day. For video clips of our Cook’s Conner adventure, go to my Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/harleyhawk43