John's at the Beach

by Celia
(Ventura County, CA)

Does anyone remember a little restaurant/bar called John's at the Beach? It was toward the end of Seaward -- on the corner, across the street from what is now a Public Parking Lot.

In 1972, I rented an apartment on Montauk Lane, making my rent payments to the bartender at John's at the Beach. I believe it was still there throughout the 1970s, but don't know what happened after that and when they closed down.

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Mar 24, 2014
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Johns at the beach
by: Anonymous

wasn't John's the restaurant/bar prior to Eric Ericcsons at the end of Seaward. It would have been 70's, 80's I believe, and now Eric's is on the C Street Pier.

Aug 17, 2014
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Johns at the beach
by: Anonymous

Yes do remember John's at the beach I lived just across the street. I was 20 what a way to live party every night. I am so happy you let me know what street it is on. I am here and what to see the old days.

Aug 27, 2014
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Good ol times
by: Anonymous

Yep I do remember, we lived on dover ln. and bath ln. about 3 houses down with a pool in the back. I'm 52 now I was 14 when we moved. Love the old beach partys and the simpler times.

Sep 22, 2014
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Johns at the Beach
by: neil

I spent a lot of time in Johns in 1968 - 70. The bartender wore a Nero suit most of the time. Great music and drink.

Neil

Oct 02, 2014
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Famous people at John's
by: Tom VA

Yes, I remember this hangout. I heard a story that John Lennon and Yoco Ono made a surprize visit and entertained at this club. Could this be true?

Oct 02, 2014
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Famous people at John's
by: Tom VA

Yes, I remember this hangout. I heard a story that John Lennon and Yoco Ono made a surprize visit and entertained at this club. Could this be true?

Nov 13, 2014
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johns
by: Anonymous

remember it well. I swore when I grew up I would go there. GONE

Mar 25, 2015
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John/Yoko at John's
by: Anonymous

Here is some stuff about John & Yoko playing there:

http://www.meetthebeatlesforreal.com/2012/01/john-goes-to-johns-repost.html

Aug 23, 2015
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Need recipe
by: Anonymous

Yes, I remember it well as having the best Manhattan Clam Chowder on earth! Does anyone have their recipe? If not, I'll write the food columnist --what newspaper would be the most likely? Thanks so much for your help...I'm starving for MCC!

Sep 11, 2015
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John's on war wounds
by: Anonymous

Johnny Cash joined me for my last set at John's. One of the few times I ever got bad drunk. He was close to OD'd, and nuts about a lady who played steel guitar, in The Red Barn. I shaped boards for "Blinky", but he didn't know.

Dec 20, 2015
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A Fixture
by: Anonymous

Johns' at The beach at the end of Seaward was a fixture in the Ventura bar scene for years. My clubhouse from '72 to '76. Owned by John Blonder. Opened a second club, same name, on State in Santa Barbara mid seventies. A serious drinking bar with better than average food and many characters.

Dec 27, 2015
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Great beach hangout bar in the 60's
by: Russell

I lived one street over from Seaward in 1964-1965. Johns At The Beach was part of the beach scene in the 60's. Had friends who played pool there on Friday and Saturday nights. Pierpont was the party place in those days. You could have big fires, big
parties and drive and sleep on the beach. Not sure if John and Uco were ever at John's but I do know that many well known bands played at local clubs in Ventura during the 60's. Plus Johnny Cash and his family built and lived in a big home on the hill in Casitas Springs.

Jan 14, 2016
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Memories 1971-1978
by: The Mayor

A little memorable pizza place on the water.

Thank you for the memori. As Dinio sang, "Memori are made of this........"

Jan 16, 2016
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Johns
by: James Marshall Lee

In the early 1960's, my dad would take the family for dinner at Johns on occasion. He had gotten to know John at some point so we were made to feel a little important when we were seated. As for John and Yoko ever being there, not sure. I do know that when John and Yoko split for a while in the early 70's, John Lennon and Harry Nillson traveled up and down the southern Ca. beaches in a drunken stupor and were thrown out of almost every club they visited.

Feb 11, 2016
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John's At The Beach
by: Anonymous

In the 60s and 70s, I was in the Seabees stationed in and around Port Hueneme, John's was one of my favorite 'watering holes'. I've lost entire week ends in there!

Mar 31, 2016
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John and Yoko
by: Jack Bentley

Oh yes it is true that John and Yoko were there. I had the good fortune of being there one of the two nights hey ate there. And yes John did play a song with the guy playing there that night. " I once had a girl or should or should I say she once had me " Best night of my life. John and Yoko were staying in a house they rented in Minor's oaks. They were very Kind people and it was great to meet them.

Apr 01, 2016
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Lennon
by: Larry Dolan

Yes Lennon did play there in June 1972. I know the guy who played the set w John pics can be viewed at: boxocloxmusic.com i am writing a screenplay about this and Chaz Pett please let me know if you were at the gig

Apr 10, 2016
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remembering john's at the beach
by: charles l. coker

our family lived next door to john's on the corner of hingham lane & zepher court. my two stepbrothers and i slept in the backyard in little shacks that we built ourself. mom & stepdad, sister & stepsister slept inside the two bedroom house. john was a good neighbor, many times we could hear good music being played or performed.

Jun 06, 2016
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Home away from home
by: tim

I was a regular along with John Nancy Richard weird ken Ollie and many other characters
Coffee in the morning then wine coolers and then beer until closing
John and yokowere there in the back and I shook johns hand as they left

Now in my 70's and I have fond memories of johns

Jun 07, 2016
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My home away from home
by: Tim

I was a regular at Johns along with John and Nancy,Richard,Steve, Ron,Weird Ken,Marty,Lizard,Ollie and the roughnecks and many other characters.
Bartenders;Virgil the cowboy and Mike the magician. Our Saturdays started out with coffee, then wine coolers and finish off the day with beer along with some substances.
I did meet John and Yoko in the back and shook Johns hand but never saw him perform.
I'm in my 70's but have fond memories of Johns and the best part I met my wife Judy there and we've been married 42 years.

Jul 01, 2016
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A great place to unwind
by: Anonymous

After VietNam...I was stationed with the Helicopter SAR team out of Point Mugu. I lived off base in Ventura near Seward Ave. and "John’s at the Beach" was a remarkable place for music, good friends, and a little head space.

Jul 05, 2016
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Birthday Dinner
by: Kris White

Yes remember this place well. I had one of my birthday dinners there. It had to have been early 70s my Grandparents took me. They Owned businesses in Piru on Hwy 126 and Knew the owner through their businesses owner of John's at the beach was John Blonder if I remember correctly. And if I also remember right the floor was sand or dirt something like that and thought it was the most amazing atmosphere as did my grandparents. This was the place I got served Roy Roger drinks and thought that was just wonderful being a child and made you feel so grown up. Good times.

Aug 14, 2016
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John's at the Beach poster!
by: Anonymous

Going through stuff that's been in storage for years I came across a small rolled up poster of John's at the Beach with photos of the interior, John Blonder, standing at the bar smiling with copy titled "This is our story."
I was stationed at the Seabee base in Port Hueneme in '71 and used to hang out at John's. In the process of building the ultimate man cave, The Front Page, in our lower level complete with awesome memorbilia I've collected over the years. This very cool John's at the Beach poster will be framed and displayed by the bar.
Visit our website at www.AmericanEntertainment.us and you will understand.

Sep 11, 2016
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I worked there!
by: Bobbie

Am planning a trip to the area soon and was wondering about this place. I have many memories from my year of working there. Sawdust (or was it peanut shells) on the floor? Great food as well as some pretty good entertainment. The general layout as I recall was pretty "mazey". Corners and hallways to maneuver between bar/dining/kitchen areas. I remember raking the floor as one of the closing chores, so I'm thinking saw dust. And I remember having Tuaca with Coffee as our (me and the bartender) after closing ritual drink(s).

Sep 30, 2016
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what a great place
by: kyle

There was nothing like John's . I also hung out there in the late 60's 70's I started going for the food - too young for the bar and met a wonderful guy who worked in the kitchen named Monty. He had some wonderful stories about Hollywood as he wad an extra on the original Mutuny on the Bounty. Became frinds even as I went off to college.
Wonderful memories as I went for the food and came back for my "legal" drink with John.
Always looking for something similiar to the feel, food, company, atmosphere and great location.

Oct 03, 2016
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Sewing machine table for two, etc
by: Anonymous

My Dad ran a local junkyard and was friend's with John. Dad gave John the antique sewing machine that served as a romantic table for two plus other interesting furnishings. John was a nice, artistic friend of the family.

Oct 29, 2016
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elonor rigby
by: Anonymous

I used to go there on my bike. Sometimes late at nite to shake the loneliness. Rumblin and tumblin a nite under the stars, to quell the tides, there to stand and look afar.

Nov 07, 2016
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my mom and dad
by: Anonymous

we grew up there. my mom and dad were jeane and john l...l and were regulars in the late 60's and 70's also had a bld. at the end of the street I believe called the sunset or something were people would crash. we lived on bath and dover greatest memories for a kid and sibs growing up.

Nov 12, 2016
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Wonderful memories at World Famous Johns at the Besch
by: Anonymous

Oh yes, World famous Johns at the beach, I was a waitress there. What a fun place to work. Michael Landon was in my section on the beautiful patio that opened up to the stars one night. You never knew who you would wait on. John had many friends in the movie industry. Does anyone know what ever happened to John and a Jacquie Blonder? Does anyone have the recipe to the manhatten clam chowder? It was the best in the world. Fun times, wonderful memories, little Ricky the bartender, where are you? Remember grey headed long haired Harry that lived directly behind Johns at the Beach? Had a host of friends there, and many good times!

Apr 29, 2017
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John's At The Beach-My Father's restaurant
by: Mike

Greetings everyone.

I realize I am very "late to the party" with joining the chorus here, but I am John's only child from four--yes oount 'em FOUR marriages--the product of his first marriage to his wife Annette, who he married while working as Red Skelton's wardrobe man on the Red Skelton Show at CBS Studios back in the mid/late 50's.

So of course I hold very special memories of John's At The Beach!! I bused tables there over a few summers when I was about 15-16 years old (back in 1971-72). Perhaps some of you remember his signature dessert, the "flaming chocolate mousse"??

I used to walk to the restaurant on the beach from his little 2-bedroom beach house on Norwich Lane (2nd house from the beach, right hand side as you drove up the street towards the beach)...

and YES as many of you have attested to the Lennon story is absolutely true...Before dad bought the house on Norwich Lane, he lived in the apartment upstairs (it was all one living quartes at the time), and I distinctly remember as a younger boy before busing tables and visiting my dad during the summer, drifting off the sleep the the Bob Dylan song "Lay Lady Lay" playing on the juke box downstairs in the bar...

Does anyone remember my father's german shepard doc Thor, who would literally hang out of the apartment window above the restaurant--his two giant front paws hanging over the ledge of the window watching the world go by? The subject of many, many tourists pictures.

I have many other memories, as well as pictures from the restaurant, menus over the years...And to the person that remembers the Manhattan clam chowder as being the best, I concur--and I have tried Manhattan chowder all over the country and nothing has come close. It was the recipe of his very first cook--an elderly salt-of-the-earth lady named Midge.

That's all for now!

Aug 07, 2017
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MY CLUBHOUSE
by: PACO

A unique SOCAL Beach Bar & Restaurant. I practically lived in that place from '72 to '76.

Open a tab there around 7PM, visit the few other clubs in town then...return to close John's down AND have a few drinks after the shades were pulled.

Highpoint was an afternoon when we anchored our boat about 200 yds offshore at the end of Seward and made an amphibious landing. Great afternoon of volley ball, drinking, dining and enjoying life.

John Blonder was a charismatic guy from the restaurant and entertainment scene in LA. Monty ran the kitchen. Bartender Bobby Smith, short guy, did not take any BS but would buy a round or two throughout the evening.

Regulars were an unique group of characters primarily from Ventura and the immediate beach area. Accomplished drinkers, racanteurs both the ladies and the gents.

Quality menu, small but great bar scene, live music (Mike Campbell comes to mind)

Still in touch with several friends from that scence. We are happy we survived the antics.

John's remains my favorite club from a different time and place.


Aug 14, 2017
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Appreciation of PACO'S comments NEW
by: Anonymous

Paco, I am John's son Mike, who wrote previously on this site sharing a small bit of my experiences there as his son.

I was busing tables in the restaurant during your "reign" there in the bar. Being under-age at the time, the only time I got to go in there was with my dad before the bar opened (which was EARLY, man! Like around 6am or so.)

You have great recall about the entertainment, specifically Mike Campbell (previously a member of the Doodletown Pipers). Mike was one of two son's of my mother and dad's next door neighbors in North Hollywood-the house that I came home from the hospital that I was born to where mom and dad lived until they got divorced back around 1959.

As far as dad's LA scene, among other things, he was Red Skelton's wardrobe man during Red's "Red Skelton Show" run the late 50's/early 60's, and man did he live the full Hollywood life after he divorced my mom!!!

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