What’s old and new at the same time in downtown Oceanside?
One answer could be Pier View Coffee Co. on the northeast corner of Pier View Way and Cleveland Street.
It’s located in a building constructed in 1908 as a dry-goods store by Oceanside pioneer George P. McKay, according to local historian Kristi Hawthorne. A photograph of the building in Hawthorne’s history of Oceanside shows lots of awnings on a business advertising everything from fishing tackle to post cards.
There’s a similar picture on the wall of the coffee place, which also maintains an old-fashioned look in much of its period furnishings – from footed wooden tables and chairs to antique chests.
Surfing banners add a modern touch to the décor as well.
The building had been vacant since the departure of a hair salon when Tom Bayer and his son, Matt, decided to establish a business there six years ago.
“We’ve been going good ever since we opened,” Matt Bayer said.
His father, who already had owned one local business (the One More Thats It pub on Airport Road) for the past 18 years, wanted the family totally relocated to Oceanside so he could spend more time with his grandchildren.
“We had to figure out what to put here” once they got the place, Matt Bayer said.
“Both of us love coffee,” he said of himself and his dad, so they asked each other “why not a coffee house?”
They hoped for business from new hotels planned for the area although only one, the Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort, has come to fruition. However, Matt Bayer said, they’ve found a ready clientele in folks staying at the nearby Wyndham time shares and other tourists as well as “a great group of locals” with sophisticated tastes, not only for the coffee, food items and pastries they sell but also for the Italian gelato.
Matt Bayer said they probably own the only restaurant in town selling gelato, a richer, denser form of ice cream (without the infusion of air to make it lighter).
“We’re trying to keep it upscale,” Bayer said of the choice for gelato over ice cream.
He tries to buy everything locally – within San Diego County – Matt Bayer said, and the pastries are delivered fresh daily. The gelato comes from Little Italy in San Diego.
Espressos come in flavors like raspberry mocha and crème brulee.
Also on the beverage menu are teas, steamed and flavored milk and Italian sodas. Smoothies come in combinations like “forbidden fruit” made of pink and white guava and passion fruit or “pineapple paradise” made of pineapple, coconut and banana.
There are different soups for different days of the week and salads come in chicken, chef or garden varieties.
Sandwiches range from a club at $7.95 to a peanut-butter-and-jelly for the kids for $1.
“We’re pet friendly,” Bayer said, and indeed there are often quite a few dogs enjoying the patio seating. There’s free Wi Fi, too.
The restaurant is open during the Sunset Market on Thursday nights.
Story by Lola Sherman. Photos by Lola Sherman and Rick Wright