Jeff Delaney, in his book Newport Beach, has a section on Balboa’s business “district”:
To many, the Green Dragon (far left) was the hub of the town, the social, cultural, and political center of activity. A popular destination for lunch, it was perhaps even more popular for the bootleg liquor served in its back booths.
The Balboa Pharmacy opened in 1920 on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Main Street. Lewis Addlestone was the new druggist. Within two years, he sold the business to Walter Eastlack.
In 1924, Eastlack opened Balboa Pharmacy No. 2 on the northwest corner of the same intersection in the newly completed Louis W. Briggs building. Since his lease on the first pharmacy ran another year, there were two pharmacies in Balboa for the 1924 season. In 1928, Eastlack sold Balboa Pharmacy No. 2 to Mickey Walker and Alfonse Hamann.
Here visitors could rent bathing suits and changing rooms during the day and come back in the evening to dance.
Built in 1928 between Washington and Palm Streets on the oceanfront, the Rendezvous quickly became Southern California’s premiere dance hall. By 1935, all the major headliners played the ballroom: Stan Kenton, the Dorsey Brothers, Harry James, Glenn Miller, and Benny Goodman. In 1966, the building succumbed to fire. Today a marker on the corner of Washington Street and Ocean Front Boulevard commemorates the site.
Gus and his cafe are a distant memory now, but this building still stands on the corner of Palm Street and Balboa Boulevard.
These pictures and details are entirely from Jeff Delaney’s book, Newport Beach. Jeff Delaney’s website is located at www.NewportBeachPostcards.com.
To see more pictures and read more history on the Newport Beach area, please browse my “Local History” section!
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