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The Legendary Southland

July 10, 2016

It was a chill day for 87-year old mom (and me), and a family/travel day for Jim and Peter.

Eric and Matt are opening up a second Legends, this one on Main Street in Huntington Beach (opening day, Saturday, July 16). Peter and Jim went down to check it out, and hang out with Staci, Kate, Courtney and Ry (the kids are Peter’s second cousins).

I actually took the below shot when mom and I spontaneously dropped in a few days later (more photos to come in a later blog). It’s a good one to post here, though, as it shows the exterior and signage

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“Legends” refers to famous sports people. The interior of the restaurant is densely packed with sports paraphernalia, just like the restaurant in Belmont Shores. Michael played a huge role in the acquisition and framing of hundreds of pieces of sports memorabilia (hurray for eBay). It has taken days to arrange all of it on the walls, ceilings, shelves… basically any available surface.

The walls of the new HB restaurant are also covered with TV screens. Here’s a shot Jim took of one small swatch that includes two TV screens, a couple dozen sports souvenirs, and a surfboard (this being HB, there are many of those throughout the restaurant).

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There are so many fascinating stories about how this sports stuff gets out into the world, how it changes hands, how it gets valued, etc. It’s pretty interesting looking at all the photos, clippings and balls/uniforms/gloves/pennants/awards. Etcetera. Stories and history everywhere.

There’s already a great story for their annals about ordering the fancy labels for an extensive Tigar [sic] Woods collection of paraphernalia. No head rolling–only eye rolling–as the typo was discovered and then quickly resolved.

It’s also fascinating to hear about the challenges of identifying and telecasting the day’s sporting events–of which there are always numerous, sometimes dozens. The cost alone of setting up the system, the monthly cost of supporting it, and the logistics of projecting the events on screens all over the restaurant is also mind boggling. It’s a bit unfathomable to me the interest, fanaticism, and even the insanity of sports; the atmosphere in a sports bar/restaurant can be electric, thrilling and also scary.  Add crowds and alcohol and you understand why they have an impressively large security staff always on hand, strategically positioned in every nook and corner of the place.

Anyway, Peter and Jim got to hang out with cousins… here’s a shot of Ry, at a restaurant they ate at down the street… (looks like they were paid a visit by a traveling balloon hat maker)…

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AND they got a great look at a large restaurant on the eve of its grand opening. So much has to come together–permits, contracts and leases, goodwill building, the space, furniture, decor, the food & drink, supplies, the staff, their training, promotion… Eric is a pro–having done this so many times with so many different restaurants–and Matt’s learned a ton in the last five years, and I have no doubt this Legends will be as ridiculously successful as their Long Beach one.

And Huntington Beach. Wow. Peter is starting to get a sense of what Southern California beach life is all about… from South Bay beaches, to Long Beach, Huntington, and soon the beaches of North County, La Jolla and San Diego. I think he gets that he’s soon to be entering a whole new culture and life.

I don’t think he’s displeased at all.

 

 

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