What’s the old saying? If you wait long enough, everything comes back into style.
Kaye’s Kitchen is soon returning to Main Street in Garden Grove. The popular downtown restaurant traces its roots back to the 1950s as Tony’s, then later as Jorene’s, this time on Euclid Street, near the old Lucky’s market.
In the mid-Nineties it reopened on Main as Kaye’s Kitchen. It’s always been owned by the Silva family, and John and Kaye were downtown royalty until they decided to retire and sell the business.
Kaye’s was always a family business. and a big part of the charm was to chat with Kaye while John cooked in the kitchen. They felt like friends, rather than just people who sold you food.
Main Street Diner didn’t quite fare as well as Kaye’s, and it closed recently. Now the Silvas are coming back, and Kaye’s Kitchen will be reopening soon.
Speaking of comings and goings, the old Newberry’s store on Brookhurst Street at Chapman Avenue is vacant again. Most recently it was operated as a Lifestyle electronics store, selling appliances and big-screen TVs and such.
Competition from Best Buy and others was just too much.
In opening Lifestyle, the operators uncovered the long-concealed large mezzanine, which was used in the Newberry days as a space for offices and storage.
For our young readers, Newberry’s was originally a “five-and-dime” store akin to the original Woolworth’s, but evolved into the Fifties as a “junior department store,” along with competitors like JC Penney and Boston Stores.
Most such stores featured lunch counters, a predecessor to the fast-food chains that came to dominate the “quick-lunch” business in the Sixties and after. The original Newberry’s even had a detached garden center behind it, bespeaking its ambitions to grow into a full-scale department store.
It didn’t work out; Penney’s moved upscale and built larger, newer stores, while Newberry and its colleagues went downscale into discount stores selling cheaper and cheaper merchandise before finally going under.
On the positive side, the passing of Lifestyle does open up a large, well-located space. With that mezzanine, it would a great spot for a Barnes & Noble, right?
Speaking of underdogs, Republican Assemblyman Van Tran (a former member of the Garden Grove City Council) is taking aim at the long-time incumbent in the 47th Congressional District, Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove).
He’s raised $450,000 already, and that might be enough to scare potential rivals out of the Republican primary. The district is heavily Democratic with a large Hispanic population, which would favor Sanchez.
What Tran has going for him is his prominent place in the Vietnamese community, which has sometimes voted as a bloc for a countryman. Additionally, public anxiety about the economy has made a lot of Democrats nervous about a possible repeat of the 1994 turnabout that pushed the GOP into control of both houses of Congress.
Of course, a lot can happen between now and November. If the economy improves markedly, Tran’s chances probably decline.
But if the public is still upset and anti-incumbent feeling is riding high, he may not look like nearly as much of an underdog as he might now.