mothers bar
mothers bar


Mother's Bar in Sunset Beach, California,  It Feels Like Home


Sunset Beach, Calif.--If you visit Mother's Bar in Sunset Beach, on any given day you may meet experts who will tell you all sorts of things about Sunset Beach--and Mother's bar. We take each story with a grain of salt (perfect for the rim of the glass of a blended Margarita.) But Mothers specializes beer and serves quite a bit. So between the stories the merry souls who imbibe at this Pacific Coast Highway establishment provide, and the book, Sunset Beach Home Tour, we've come up with intriguing information about this bright red building that looks pretty old outside, and even older inside.


Mother's Bar in Sunset Beach features cold beer on tap, a jukebox, live bands, ample Harley motorcycle parking and a special invitation to ladies--If it's your first visit, you can pin your bra or pants to the ceiling. This neighborly haunt welcomes all who are willing to act civilized.


First, the walls in the bar are plastered with photos of patrons, historic moments, and the ceilings are coated with bras mostly.  If you come for the first time and are so inclined, you can take off your bra and have it stapled to there for posterity. 


The book about Sunset Beach uses several articles as its source references for Mother's bar. Truth is, according to these sources, the bar got its name from the Peter Gun TV series that was popular in the 1950's. The red building (batten and board) was once a ticket station for the Red Cars that ran from Los Angeles to Tin-Can Beach (circa 1919.) That beach today is called Bolsa Chica State Beach and is within the bounds of the city of Huntington Beach.

Next, it operated as a bait shop, a practical endeavor for the fishing opportunities popular along this stretch of coast. Tom Jackson purchased the property in 1959, and was told that building had also been a real estate office, a bakery and the red car ticket office during 1908 to 1912.


During the prohibition it was a speakeasy camouflaged as a coffee shop. To put the prohibition into perspective, there were many coastal (West Coast) rum running, bootlegging and speakeasies such as Moss Beach Distillery in San Mateo County.  Rum runners worked in the dark of the night, meeting nearshore vessels that brought whiskey, rum and other types of liquor from places such as Canada and Mexico. In the same cove no more than a mile or two down the road in Seal Beach rum runners also worked their illegal trade for 13 years from 1920 to 1933. When Tom Jackson removed the floor of the building to install a new floor surface, he discovered piles of liquor bottles.


In 1977 Peter Duval purchased the business, owning and operating it for a decade from 1977 to 1987. Duvall was known in the local community, serving as president of the Sunset Beach Community Association. Sold to Tina Lautner in 1987, she commented that the customers and community "own" Mothers, they take care of Mothers, "and I get to pay the bills."


Located in an historic building was once a ticket station for the Pacific Electric train (so one employee claims), this bright red building has few of its original elements, though much has been replaced since the building was constructed in the early 1900s.  


Mother's Bar in Sunset Beach California Leave your attitude at home because you will be ignored if you bring it into Mother's. The cozy bar with TV, a fan and even bands in a corner where they manage to squeeze in, are a few of the things you may find when you go to Mother's.


Among the bands featured at Mother's are Brad Wilson and Parkai Moon. Rock groups that find this bar with its Harley-packed parking spaces in front of the building a real cultural icon have included members of the band, Sublime. And of course you know that in star-studded Sunset Beach not only rockers and lawyers reside, but the likes of Cameron Diaz, Sandra Bullock and hubby Jesse James, owner of West Coast Choppers and star and host of Discovery Channel's Monster Garage.


Staying in Sunset Beach is an affordable vacation. The hotel choices are simple. There are about three hotels you can book online. Ramada Limited, Econo Lodge Sunset Beach and Best Western Harbour Inn and Suites are the suite deals.